Out of Hollywood, USA, come black metal warriors, Ashen Horde. Ashen Horde has quite the back catalogue of material, with three full albums and a host of EPs. Now the band brings us some new music with their EP Tintregen. This release consists of four brand new tracks and follows the band’s last album Fallen Cathedrals. I’ve never had the chance to listen to their music before but from what I’ve heard and read this will be an experience, that’s for sure.
Opening track “Roar of The Wyrm” after a quiet, gradual, build-up becomes pure, raw black metal, with vocalist Stevie Boiser doing a great job with the screaming vocals, parts that work so well with the classic-sounding riffs coming from the guitar. As the song moves along, you can hear slight prog elements come into it but at its heart, this track is pure raw ruthless black metal.
“The Entity” comes to life with a guitar sound that has a different feel to it, but nonetheless works well with the vocals and the thunderous drum sound. The vocals have a much deeper guttural sound to them than in “Roar of The Wyrm”, which I much prefer. The song has a feel to it that reminds me of the music coming out from the underground black metal bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s.
“The Torture Cycle”, a somewhat ominous title (I thought), is just as crazy as it sounds. The music shifts in sound, is a lot faster paced, and frantic but still keeps the guttural voices. It makes a change to hear something with a bit less bleakness to it. The band is experimenting with this track, I feel in its own weird way it’s something the band does rather well, branching out their soundscape. The middle section of the song brings a solo from Trevor Portz. The solo really shows off his talent and makes for a nice listen and something a bit different. This track got me hopeful for the next full-length album, that something with this kind of sound is prominent from the start.
Finishing things out with “Mourning Due”, the band has gone back to the raw, black metal feel. During the middle section, the guys bring in some clean sounding vocals, which surprised me a little. Once again we get another blistering solo from Trevor, which doesn’t feel out of place at all. Towards the end, you can feel a slight shift in tone and there’s more of a heavier sound present but none the less, it all combines really well to bring this experience of an EP to a close in some style.
Tintregen out now via Mandol Records