Asgrauw - Schijngestalten

Hailing from the Netherlands three piece black metal act Asgrauw has seen fit to hit the unsuspecting global black metal hordes with a furious debut after a single promo in 2012 released after forming in late 2010. Their chosen band name translates well with the ethos surrounding the bands dark ashen music within the context of traditional black metal that many old school fans yearn for in these days of over produced synthetic mediocrity.

Beginning with a drawling sombre piece in the guise of 'De Ondergang' the rasping vocals are morose and the conjoining music is equally melancholic and delivered at a slow but grinding pace which morphs gradually to intermittent blasting. As with most traditional black metal bands, returning to the folds of the 90s the drum sound is minimalistic, but packs sufficient punch to be indelibly engraved into the songs. Into the excellent 'Ira' and the opening riff is rancorous and reminds of acts like The Abyss, Vargavinter and debut Enthroned with that primal unfettered violence but harnessing deluges of melody much like Bathory's early work in the 80s in some respect as well.  There is a black fluidity about tunes like 'Schimmenwereld' and 'Luxuria', the intermingling of power and melody with a crisp but desolate production is authentic, primitive and exquisitely sadistic.

I've always liked this style of black metal above and beyond the war mongering battle cruising cacophony of bands preferring to detonate their songs with aural nuclear devastation. Tempo changes are inextricably locked into a vast tapestry of blackened nuances and indeed virtually all black metal was played like this in its hedonistic and self destructive days of the late 80s and 90s and that philosophy is held true here on 'Avaritia', with blazing brimstone fury being doused with iced shards of embittered melody yet Asgrauw has the ability to pierce the soul much like their compatriots Sammath with hellish speed and emotive black revulsion.

You'd be hard pressed to find a more genuine demonstration of how black metal used to be and should still be played, blending tunefulness and outright soul destroying terror Asgrauw's debut is a real find.

  1. De Ondergang
  2. Ira
  3. Maan Boven De Heuvels
  4. Schimmenwereld
  5. Luxuria
  6. Uit Grauwe As Ontstaan
  7. Avaritia
  8. Wanneer De Schemering Valt

Self released
Reviewer: twansibon
Jun 21, 2014
Next review: Gûlgûta - Gûlgûta

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