Haunting, Textured, Concise

Sept. 7, 2015


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Listen to The Sixth of November

The Sixth of November is a one-man act out of Russia. The style is self-described experimental post-metal. While I find this genre to be hit and miss, with many acts choosing to meander around without a strong sense of direction, Ashes is more interested in taking a visceral, direct route.

The sound is driven by the duality of the gentle piano and harsh vocals. Synths and strings further fill out the sound. Guitar primarily consists of crunching, plodding palm-muting and the occasional dissonant notes. Occasionally it will come forward to create a catchy melody as with the song “Walk Alone”...aside from the sudden violent barrage of tapping. The technique at times is not unlike that of funeral doom, but overall this fits better into the post-metal category.

It is in the accents of deep, crushing bass notes, as with “Pray,” that the guitars truly make their presence known. The drums do wonders in creating a varied framework: sometimes disappearing completely and others destroying with pounding double bass. And while the screams are quite compelling, the sung vocals are no less engaging. Melancholy melodies drift through the highs of “Pray” and lows of “Pages.” Lyrics are purposefully repetitive and have a way of sticking in your mind.

In just 35 minutes, The Sixth of November manages to display a variety of textures, emotions, and sounds that many fail to reach in over an hour. It's an enjoyable experience and one worth having over and over again. And despite the overall depressive sound, I found the atmosphere in no way off-putting. To the contrary, it is extremely piquant. Name your price on bandcamp.