Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Ashenspire - Hostile Architecture


Now this is an interesting one. Ashenspire are a Scottish avant garde black metal band whose sound throws it back to bands like Altar of Plagues, but which also embraces influences from around the avant world. The end result is Hostile Architecture a record that feels distinctly next level. With an emphasis on larger than life soundscapes and large scale compositions there is a certain epic magic and charm to what's being done by these Scottish masters of their craft. While this sprawling effort can at times feel a bit too far reaching, the end result is very much a fascinating sonic explosion.

This is a record that pushes boundaries and comes off as wonderfully emotionally raw - exactly what fans of the underground have always craved. The balance of dark and light is especially key on this offering, with tracks like "Plattenbau Persephone Praxis" contrasting trippy jazz explorations against monochromatic and noisy avant garde black metal sonic ministrations. This actually ties into part of the magic of this record - the breadth of influences and sounds. The interlude track, "How The Might Have Vision" features a choir and traditional melodies. Meanwhile, other songs unveil punk, jazz, art rock and noise influences among countless others. 

Hostile Architecture is an impressive offering anyway you slice or dice it. Ashenspire have gone above and beyond to stun listeners with a broad scope record that thrills sonic explorers of all stripes. This album is a stunner and one that I think speaks to the eternal magic of the underground. Letting yourself get immersed in this profound and beautiful weirdness is a rare treat and one that I think will keep listeners deeply engaged. This is only the beginning. As Ashenspire tighten their sound they could become something truly great.

Pre-order the album!

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