The Ember, The Ash — Consciousness Torn From The Void
From the solo artist behind the well regarded post-black metal project Unreqvited, this is the debut offering from The Ember, The Ash. Hewing more towards the atmospheric side of the black metal genre, Consciousness Torn From The Void serves up 6 tracks of material that is a lot more raw and aggressive than anything his main act has released. While both projects are heavily anchored in the black metal genre, The Ember, The Ash comes off as more dour and nihilistic, compared to the brooding depression of Unreqvited.
This isn't quite an "old school" release — as the production and audio quality are both very good — even if the material does dip into more traditional black metal tones and compositional elements. The vocals are strained wretches, but are much stronger in the mix than on Unreqvited material, and the synths and atmospherics are still present but used much more sparingly. The Ember, The Ash occupies a satisfying middle-ground between the traditional black metal stylings of decades past and the post-black efforts of modern acts that bare only a passing ressemblance to their progenitors. This record is a good example of showing your influences without simply aping them.
Consciousness Torn From The Void is a concise record that wastes no time. The intro / outro passages of each song are brief, and the vast majority of the album is an uptempo, furious affair. The guitar tone is dense, but far from the excessive polish found on most modern digital recordings. There are blast beats aplenty, without the rhythm sections sounding monotonous or one-dimensional. While the record is very aggressive overall, the material is varied enough to avoid oversaturating the listener with mindless rage and a wall of noise. There are plenty of buzzing guitar passages, but also doomier progressions and small instrumental flourishes — like the haunting pianos on "Restoration" or the synths that periodically fade in and out all over the record.
The album's running time is just shy of 39.5 minutes, and nothing feels out of place or like it needed to be cut. Even with each track running an average of 6.5 minutes, there's no chaff and none of the tracks feel overly long or meandering. The songs are fairly lengthy, although shorter than the average Unreqvited offering. The synths are dialed back a fair bit, and there are more traditional black metal passages — like the blast beats and tremolo runs that litter "He Who Wove The Stars And Moons" or album closer "From Marrow To Essence" — while still presenting a lot of sonic variety throughout the album.
After 3 successful releases from Unreqvited, the solo artist behind the project has produced a powerful debut offering from their latest endeavour. The Ember, The Ash successfully differentiates itself from its creator's main project, and issues a powerful, well-written atmospheric black metal album. Consciousness Torn From The Void displays a lot of influences without aping any of them directly. Another solid release from an artist quickly establishing a strong body of work; I highly recommend this album to all black metal fans — it is absolutely worth your time.
Release date: September 13th, 2019
Record label: Avantgarde Music
Will Vale — everything
- Consciousness Torn From The Void
- He Who Wove The Stars And Moons
- Creature Of No Mass
- From Marrow To Essence
Published: October 10th, 2019.