Friday, August 19, 2011
Aseethe - "Reverent Burden" (2011) [Floating Cave Records]
With their debut full-length, Reverent Burden, Aseethe pummels the listener with an intricate mix of noise, drone, sludge, and disturbed ambiance to create a perturbing final product, at times almost having more to do with ambient music than metal, but still an overall doom metal experience. These two giant tracks, Reverent and Burden, tread a fine line between funeral-paced doom metal and thick but quiet drone. It is heavy, but mostly in a subtle, shifting fashion, drawing upon the volume dichotomy between the two styles. Deep, bellowing voices can bring about a Neurosis comparison and, yes, both bands carry a post-apocalyptic chip on their shoulders, but Aseethe isn't as much brutal and majestic as Neurosis as it is creeping and unsettling.
My one complaint? The mix is rather quiet. I know an argument can be made that they aren't following the "loudness war" that plagues most metal, but, for this sort of music, I do sort of expect my ears to be pummeled, or at least punched a few times. However, this was mastered for vinyl and all I'm going off of are digital masters, so maybe the magic of these songs on wax will change my mind. Only time will tell.
Aseethe's Reverent Burden was definitely a surprise. Who knew Iowa could churn out cool music? Next time I find myself driving through The Hawkeye State I'll be sure to look extra hard between the rows of corn.