Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Ashtar - Kaikuja

Eisenwald has been releasing some truly great intellectual metal for years now. They seem to always find fascinating and wonderfully intellectual bands who music you can take deep listens too. There is a very real magic to their discography and it's easy to fall in love with everything they bring to the table. Their latest release to hit my inbox, Ashtar's upcoming album, Kaikuja is another gem in the labels catalog. This is a masterful release from the Swiss art metallers that will take you on a triumphant journey.

Kaikuja sees the band developing on their unique mix of black metal, drone and sludge. Though it's been five long years since their last record, Kaikuja has been definitely worth the weight. This husband-wife duo has created something that is exciting and emotionally powerful. There is a sort of majesty behind the band that ensures they keep fascinating the listener with their multilayered sound and dense approach. The breadth of the production though ensures that this is more of a poetic journey than a case of the listener getting hammered with riffs for five songs. It's a quest into shadows, one where you return a different person.

This is a record that sees the band take huge steps forward. Tracks like 'Between Furious Clouds' are epic journeys of sound. The layers of production here make for some truly interesting listening. It's the sort of album you can spend a lot of time with as you sink your teeth in and become more enamored with what Ashtar have conjured up. If you're anything like me you'll soon find yourself nodding along to these mesmerizing offerings, blackened doom that dials it back, that embraces drones and ensures a sludgy future for all.

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