Asira’s debut album is an assured step into the realm of post-black metal, and where this young UK act excel is in the contrast between Agalloch-inspired black metal and pretty, Alcest-like sections that rise to the heavens. It’s not a new tactic but the quintet meld the opposing themes cohesively with Crucible Of Light setting out their manifesto in no uncertain terms. Vocals shift between harsh, guttural screams and beautiful, clean parts that shimmer against the otherwise tremulous guitars below. Efference manages to be ethereal, progressive and defiantly black metal, often all within the same track. This Hollow Affliction calls to mind modern-day Opeth in its curious guitar runs and unusual phrases before switching tack completely and becoming a rampant, darker prospect in an instant. It’s a change that feels natural and while Asira are clearly taking their cues from their peers, it’s a sound they serve well. Efference is truly lovely at times and with time taken to find their identity, Asira could become an incredible band.