Technicolor black light album cover for technicolor black metal. So, I’m old as shit. Probably a lot older than someone who crafts a heavy metal blog on the internet should reasonably be. But there you go. Everyone needs a hobby. Anyway. Being an old fart, I remember the days of going to Spencer’s Gifts in the 80s for the sole purpose of perusing the collection of metal posters they used to have in the back corner of the store. Sure, there were the shots of Heather Thomas and Heather Locklear in various states of undress, but I was there for the Maiden artwork, dammit. At the end of the rack of posters, it always seemed like there was a small section of trippy blacklight posters. Anyway, the album cover for this latest Ashbringer release just brought those memories back. Is Spencer’s still around? Fuck, I hope so. I really do.
On to the metal. Ashbringer is hailing from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the music they produce is appropriate for the place in the U.S. that is most like Scandinavia in terms of frozen weather. Ashbringer plies in a black metal that tends to bring a little more of a jazzy element to the genre than most of its practitioners. There is a lightness of touch running through the production and the playing of the instruments on this album. It doesn’t go full Panopticon with a blending of styles, but the drumming and the various keyboard/programming elements of the record just add a bit of a jazz spice to the thing. This is definitely an album that has been growing on me with each listen (currently on spin #3 while I write this). There’s a lot going on to absorb on here. So, give it some time.
3.5 flip flops out of 5