I'm Underdressed For This

Jan. 18, 2017


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The Pitch: "A harrowing, yet distinctly human odyssey through the absurdities and tragedies of British imperialism, voiced in an appropriately deranged sprechgesang by the band’s creative director, Alasdair Dunn."  FFO A Forest of Stars.

What I Like: I adored AFOS's album Beware the Hand You Cannot See, and ever since then I have been craving similarly dramatic, verbiose black metal.  Ashenspire has heard my call.  Their sound is very similar; from the avant-garde spoken word vocal delivery to the violin additions.  It's "classy" black metal meant to be listened to while drinking fine alcohol from a snifter in a silk robe before a marble fireplace.  I don't have any of those things, so my cup of coffee and composite board desk will have to do.  In any case, the arrangements are both lovely and bleak.  I feel I will need to spend more time with this one to truly penetrate all that is within.

What I Don't Like: I do find myself asking whether this project has something to offer that AFOS does not, and the jury is still out.  I wouldn't write this album off, but I am anti-redundancy wherever possible.  I also don't think this release is as accomplished and readily emotive as BTHYCS, but it is a strong listen nonetheless. 

The Verdict: Get out your candelabras and fine silver.  This is quite the opposite of your Mayhems and Immortals out there.  Ashenspire has more work to do when it comes from creating a true masterpiece, but I welcome the still relatively fresh approach and solid songwriting.

Flight's Fav's:  Grievous Bodily Harmonies, Fever Sheds, A Beggar's Belief