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Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate album review

Never mind the length, feel the breadth of Arcata’s USBM crew Ash Borer. Read our album review here...

Perhaps the greatest compliment you can heap on the shoulders and illegible logo of this atmospheric northern Californian black metal outfit is that their songs don’t feel like they’re 10 minutes-plus in length.

And so it continues on the quartet’s third full-length and first in four years. Suspended minor chords hang and sway in the air like enemies of a totalitarian state while a flurry of Gatling-gun picking and helicopter kick drums pummel the senses throughout the balance of Lacerated Spirit. The waves of ambient noise and soundscape washes comprising Lustration I and Lustration II grate the nerves just as hard as the mid-range guitar swarm and Kyle Morgan’s snarling vocal shards in Rotten Firmament. Some of the song lengths may test the patience of shorter attention spans, but as a whole and at its heart, The Irrepassable Gate is a scathing beast that manages to deliver a dank mood and eerie constitution whether it’s powering along at five or 500 mph.