On January 6, 2020, the label alliance of Casus Belli Musica and Beverina will release the debut album of a mysterious atmospheric black metal band named Lesath, whose location and membership remain undisclosed. The album’s name is Sacred Ashes. It consists of six tracks, but really four songs, because two of those four are divided into two parts in the track list.
In September of this year, Lesath (and subsequently the two labels) released one of those two-part songs, “Like the Wind“, which we reviewed here. In November we presented the second half of the other two-part song, “A New Life“, which like the first single was presented with its own artwork. And today we add to these musical revelations with the premiere of the album’s title track, “Sacred Ashes“.
The meaning of the album title can be discerned from the following quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, which you’ll see on the Bandcamp pages for the record:
“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame;
How could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”
And the following statement by Lesath elaborates on that concept:
“Sacred Ashes is a journey out of the light and into the dark. It is an ode to the irrevocable culmination, an irreversible conclusion to all that once was alive and sentient. Through the album’s path, it all comes to life even beyond the nadir only to be placed among the Isle of the dead eventually where all beauty, all mirth, and all feeling lay dormant, bereft and forlorn, at peace with permanence along the blinding darkness that has perhaps lingered within the floating halls for the longest time. The album was conceived in order to resolve and renew, to bury and ascend.”
The lyrics of the title song we’re presenting today (provided after the song stream below) reflect upon an experience of terrible pain and an endless brooding anguish to come. The trauma and the hopelessness in the words come through in the music, whose slow rhythms, saturating chords, and soul-splintering vocals provide a drenching of despair and resignation. There are rising, glimmering tones in the music, intertwined with dismal and beleaguered ones, perhaps as a forecast of the song’s imminent transformation.
As you might expect if you’ve heard any of Lesath‘s previously revealed tracks, the song segues unexpectedly into a lighter and brighter interlude, as if the protagonist is remembering better times, and the sparkling though haunting keyboard melody at the center of that break persists as the guitars and drums return, the guitars themselves celestially shimmering in a way that feels like… yearning.
Sacred Ashes was mastered by Nekkomix (Skyforest, Bloodbark, Lumnos, etc.). It will be released by Casus Belli Musica and Beverina in a 6-panel digipak, CD with pit-art, limited to 150 copies. A digital edition will only be available through Lesath.
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SACRED ASHES – LYRICS
I wish it were over the terrible pain,
Pang after pang again and again
First the shattering ruining blow,
Then the probing steady and slow
Did I wince? I did not faint
My soul broke but was not bent
Up I stand like a blasted tree
By the shore of the shivering sea
On my boughs neither leaf nor fruit,
No sap in my uttermost root,
Brooding in an anguish dumb
On the short past and the long to come
Dumb I was when the ruin fell,
Dumb I remain and will never tell