Thursday, January 26, 2017

ASHENSPIRE - Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary Review

Ashenspire - Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary (2017, Code666)
Release date : January 20th, 2017

Lately, we have been receiving promo from the label Code666 and we have been mostly impressed by their quality and their variety of offerings; Aenaon and Terra are two of the albums we reviewed on this blog. Avant-garde Metal band Ashenspire formed in 2013 in the United Kingdom are the latest to be released on Code666. Mixing the speed of both Primordial and Ved Buens Ende with a vision that’s closer to Dodheimsgard and Arcturus, Ashenspire might have created the most theatrical record to have moved this critic for a long time.

There’s an epic edge to this record that’s reminding me of the audacity of Pink Floyd in a way that’s really visceral. The musicality of songs like ‘’Grievous Bodily Harmonies’’ with its use of violins over the maelstrom of drums and guitars while the quieter moments have a simplistic yet dramatic piano track. As with aforementioned Primordial, the march of ‘’Fever Sheds’’ reminds of the Black Metal of the celebrated Scottish masters. It pin points many elements that please the writer of those lines while not being short of throwing some curve balls here and there. One thing is sure with this album is that Ashenspire isn’t driving its vehicle in the middle of the road.

There is another element that is clear is that no means were spared to make this a memorable production. Recorded and mixed by Greg Chandler (Esoteric, Fen) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sunn O))), Yob, Converge, Bell Witch) are established names synonyms of quality.

So far in 2017, in a year that’s looking to be a huge step back for humanity and human rights in general, at least we still have music to be one of our ‘’bread and circuses’’, Ashenspire released the most interesting album so far and the best we have listened to yet. For its creativity, theatricality, and variety while keeping a constant pace I can safely say that it is a potential contender for our Record of the Month™ feature.


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