AN NCS EP PREMIERE (AND A REVIEW): ASCHENVATER — “LANDUNGSFELDMASSAKER”
“The band name ‘Aschenvater‘ is inspired by the universe of Warhammer 40K. The sound is raw and destructive, like the rotting battlefields of the drop site massacre. Oldschool Death Metal is the perfect way for us to bring the content and the energy of the lyrics together with the music. The HM-2 is sculpting the violence and brutality of the fights in clay”.
This is how this German death metal trio introduce themselves, along with references to the inspirations of Bolt Thrower and Hail of Bullets. And to underscore the influence of Warhammer 40K, they named their debut EP Landungsfeldmassaker, in memory of a battle on Istvaan V, the “drop site massacre” as rendered in German, which is the language used for all the EP’s lyrics.
But when you listen to the EP’s seven songs you’ll come away convinced that this is no game, but is instead a viscerally powerful rendering of the mayhem, the bloodshed, and the desolating misery that plagues all human warzones. The grooves in the music are often massive and the riffing often highly infectious, but the overarching atmosphere of the EP is one of shattering decimaton and soul-crushing hopelessness.
And today we invite you to experience all of that for yourselves via our premiere of a complete stream of Landungsfeldmassaker in advance of its April 30 release (tomorrow!) by Dead Center Productions.
In “Der Beginn // Tag der Abrechnung” Aschenvater set the stage for what is to come through dismal, moaning guitar tones that slowly ring in the midst of a windy chill, and with pummeling, jabbing rhythms that drive the sounds to greater intensity.
But it’s the second track, “Sturmreif // Der Verräterkönig”, that really demonstrates what the band bring to the table. It opens with feverish tremolo’d riffing and thunderous drumming, coupled with savage vocals that straddle a changing line between a vicious roar and a caustic scream. The riffing boils in a frenzy of despair and grinds like a circle-saw cutting through flesh and bone, but also ejects bursts of head-moving fieriness backed by a neck-snapping drum cadence and accented by a gripping guitar solo. And while the feeling of despair remains, the song climbs at the end in a hint of terrible grandeur.
Moving through the EP is a dynamic experience, and thus “Im Feuersturm // Entfesselte Götter” changes the momentum with a slowly slithering, doomed arpeggio that leads into titanic percussive blows and then a frightening, lurching stomp accompanied by intense howls of wretchedness. The gloom-drenched oppressiveness of the song is palpable, and mounts to further heights of apocalyptic desolation thanks to the chilling wails of the lead guitar, but the cadence of the song also proves to be physically arresting. The band eventually shift gears, launching into an exhilarating gallop matched by the electric pulse of the guitars, though that experience is accompanied by buzzing chords that sound grim and cruel and is segmented by rhythms that jolt the spine.
By contrast, the trio launch “Blut auf schwarzem Sand // Im Todesrausch” with a heavyweight, neck-wrecking chug-fest. The song also races and blares, generating sounds of both deranged feverishness and hopeless anguish over morphing drum patterns (but also inflicts jackhammering punishment).
Recordings of machine-gun and cannon fire provide the introduction to the instrumental track “Massaker // Echos”, which unfolds in a slow and sodden march propelled by a big bass pulse and a steady drum-beat. The riffing casts a deathly pall over the proceedings, but also dependably hammers at the listener’s neck, while the haze of the lead guitar adds a feeling of desperation to the crushing despondency.
And again, Aschenvater shift gears with “Durch das Kadavermeer // Geschenke des Krieges”, kicking adrenaline levels higher in a barbaric attack of whirring guitar malevolence, battering drumwork, and mad vocal expulsions. Yet as the band are want to do, they infiltrate morbid, crawling melodies, juggernaut ravaging, and doses of head-moving rhythm.
To close the EP, “Verräter // Visionen der Hölle” attacks again, drums blasting and guitars vibrating in a dense and deleterious swarm, augmented by infectious bursts of livid melody, harrowing screams, and deep moaning HM-2 tones that convey abject misery. The band down-shift the momentum to make way for a heart-stricken extended guitar solo that saturates the mind with sorrow before silence falls — as if to remind us again, this is no game.
The EP was recorded, mixed and mastered at the band’s own Studio (Goliath-Studio in Görlitz), and it features cover art and layout by Marco Thundergoat. You’ll find relevant links below, and we’ll now leave you with these further thoughts from Aschenvater:
“In the band we share the same passion for the metal underground. We go to festivals and concerts as fans, crew members or volunteers. There is a constant exchange about releases, interviews and live shows. Metal is not a minor matter for us. All band members are also active in other bands. Oli and Marcus in Torture the Mass (RIP), Marcus also in the band Stein, Marko in the bands Mouth of Madness and Heksebrann.
“With the release of the Landungsfeldmassaker EP, we close the first chapter. Riffs, lyrics and ideas for further releases are in progress and just waiting to be brought into shape. A live line-up is also planned. But until then, the battle of the drop site massacre rages with incredible severity!”
PRE-SAVE / PRE-ORDER:
DEAD CENTER PRODUCTIONS:
*awakens from his slumber*
Did someone say “warhammer”?
Seriously though, somehow I knew this has something to do with 40k – despite my brain being incompatible with german (I get a stroke about 5 syllables in). Now to determine if I like it because it’s good music, or because it’s 40k…
Welcome! Hopefully you’ll conclude that the music is good too.