Ashen Horde was spawned within the bleak, frost-bitten desolation of… Los Angeles. Originally the solo project of Trevor Portz, Ashen Horde has released a handful of EPs and two albums since 2013, and with an expanded line-up Ashen Horde is today releasing a new digital and 7″ vinyl EP named The Alchemist through their new label Transcending Obscurity Records. To commemorate the event, we have a stream of the two tracks on The Alchemist.
Joining Trevor Portz (who performs guitar and bass) on The Alchemist are vocalist Stevie Boiser and drummer Jeremy Portz. This new EP is a precursor to the band’s next full-length album, which will also be released by Transcending Obscurity, and it’s a mind-bending and unpredictable two-song trip.
Ashen Horde claim inspirations ranging from Vintersorg and Enslaved to Tulus and Strapping Young Lad, and both songs display the diversity of their inspirations.
Dissonant riffing and haunting notes form the prelude to the building tumult of “Arisen“, which moves first into a mid-paced rocking rhythm with a dark and dismal atmosphere, segmented by jolting chords and laced with twisted lead guitar work. The guitar machinations become increasingly swarming and strange as the drumming grows increasingly animated and the scalding vocals reach new heights of torturous intensity in a deranged crescendo of head-spinning sound.
By contrast, “Fallen” begins in high gear immediately, its jarring rhythms and seething riffs quickly building to a demonic, pulse-pounding frenzy. Yet this song also refuses to follow a straight and predictable path, with the bounding bass lines and nimble, mercurial guitar leads indulging in exuberant (and even lunatic) flurries, like mad dogs off their leashes. And somehow, despite the song’s intricate and unpredictable path, a dark, serpentine melody winds it way through the song; you may find it continuing to slither through your head after the track ends.
Progressively inclined, technically impressive, and as mentally engrossing as it is savage, The Alchemist is an out-of-the-ordinary fashioning of blackened metal that’s well worth your time and close attention.
To download The Alchemist and to order it on limited-edition vinyl (along with a shirt), go here:
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