ASHEN “Godless Oath”

By Dr. Abner Mality

In Australia, they like their Swedish death metal. Lots of the bands from there pay homage to the old masters...Perth’s ASHEN is the latest. And I’ve got to say, this bunch do it better than most!

Although it’s obvious their hearts are close to Stockholm, ASHEN is not so slavishly derivative as to seem just another Swe-death knockoff. Each of the 5 songs on this EP has its own identity and feel, with none sounding like the other. They also went out and got Marko Tervonen of THE CROWN to produce, resulting in a very clear and crisp sound. This is a very professional sounding effort!

With the opening title track, DISMEMBER influences are evident in a fast but catchy attack. But it’s second cut “Mass Cremation” that really grabs you by the throat...this song has got an awesomely catchy mid-paced stomp that’s hookier than hell. It reminds me of the classic BLOODBATH track “Eaten”. “Ruins” is a fast belter that’s good, but the most “typical” track on display. That can’t be said of “Asphyxiant”, which has a very original, almost Gothic kind of melodic death metal feel to it. Very cool song and perhaps the one that shows the most promise for the future of ASHEN. The album ends with a groove-based crusher “Inferno” that does have a strong whiff of THE CROWN to it.

This is an Aussie band to firmly lodge in the “promising” category!