Oct 162023

Today marks the third time we’ve premiered and reviewed a release by the Venetian band Askesis. The first was their 2016 debut EP The Path to Absence (here), and we followed that with their 2018 demo Black Ontology (here). Now we have a full stream of their debut album Beyond the Fate of Death, which is set for release on October 20th by Time To Kill Records. It’s a concept album inspired by “The Myth of Sisyphus”, a 1942 essay written by the philosopher Albert Camus.

Dawn of the Current Inferno” was the first single from the album. The band described its inspiration in these words, which we share here because they also seem to provide insights into the album as a whole (as we hear it):

“‘Dawn of the Current Inferno‘ serves as a testament to the power of artistic expression to push boundaries and challenge societal norms. It encourages us to embrace the enigmatic and the unexplained, reminding us that within chaos, there’s a hidden order waiting to be discovered. This composition is an invitation to embark on a journey of introspection, where we confront our own biases and preconceptions, and ultimately find a deeper connection to the world around us”. Continue reading »

Jul 122018


Roughly two years ago we had the pleasure of premiering The Path To Absence, a very impressive first EP by the Venetian band Askesis, which moved me to write: “The songs are dynamic and usually straddle the smoking crevasse between occult death metal and black metal, with a strong stench of doom in the mix as well. When the music is moving at full threshing speed, or bounding with punk-influenced rhythms, it gets the blood pumping… but the sense that something in the shadows hungers for your blood is never far away.”

Now it’s our good fortune to present a new Askesis EP, the name of which is Black Ontology, and it’s even more impressive than the previous one. The two women and two men in this band have succeeded in establishing their own distinctive “personality”, crafting a sequence of songs that continually brings the word “sorcerous” to the mind of this writer. It’s packed with physically arresting (and constantly changing) rhythms, yet it also creates atmospheres of brooding menace and of fiery infernal celebration, like the accompaniment to witches and warlocks cavorting around a pyre whose extravagant flames spear upward into the night sky. Continue reading »

Apr 042016

Askesis-The Path To Absence


By all accounts, and from photos and films I’ve seen, Venice is one of the world’s most unique and beautiful cities, a magical place that seems to inspire art that is likewise not entirely of this world — though the art inspired by the city can take dark, supernatural shapes as well as sunlit ones. And that brings us to The Path To Absence, the debut EP by the Venetian black metal band Askesis — which we are premiering for you today.

The slow, morbid chords and banshee wails that begin “Prayer To the Void” begin to spread the cloak of darkness immediately, and the sense of ravaging pestilence only mounts as the band accelerate the pace. You’ll quickly notice that the music has a heavy, thundering low-end sound and that the jolting drum progressions not only move the rhythms and pacing in differing directions as the song progresses, but will also rattle your teeth. Meanwhile, the swarming tremolo chords and predatory growls deepen the sense of malignancy that those doom-shrouded opening chords announce. Continue reading »