|Review: Ashen Light - Pesn' Velesa|
Label: More Hate Productions
Year released: 1999
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 17, 2009
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Ashen light play a bizarre mixture of Black and Folk Metal — somewhat reminiscent of the kind that Nokturnal Mortum tend to play, but this Russian band has a harder emphasis on folk than the better known Ukrainians. In a search to dig up some cold, classical, ambient Black Metal — like the mighty Mystic Forest — this band somehow turned up that wasn't quite what I was looking for, but it didn't disappoint either. A bombardment of folk instruments on top of macerating guitars, blasts and shrieking in Russian sounds way too overwhelming. To the point where one would think the sound would be intolerable. But I suppose all such norms have exceptions and Ashen Light fit snugly into that crevice.
When all guns are loaded, this band is simply outstanding. The fourth track — "Ros'" — for example, is a masterpiece of the marriage between folk instruments and chaotic guitar riffing. Vocals are done very nicely too and the sound of the album is mystical, 'foresty' and ancient. Although this is quite interesting and enjoyable, it has some shortcomings. A sizable amount of filler material is on the bill; filler that is just downright garbage - to be perfectly blunt. Especially on the tracks where the guitars take the back seat and are drowning in sound while the other folksy instruments take point. So the variation in quality is quite large and Ashen Light do not seem to be sure which direction they want to focus more on. Because clearly, when this band is firing up the guitars, they are just incredible and should center their attention down that route. Despite its crazy moments that are too 'out there', there is enough meat on here to be at least worth a sniff. Check it out.
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