Recently, I’ve been in sort of a drought. The kind where I haven’t encountered many good albums of a specific style. Death metal is what seems to be eluding me lately as I’ve heard very few truly solid records of that style come to my ears. Luckily, I know where to keep my eyes peeled for good music from the underground, and Xtreem Music is where I laid my eye tonight. And afterward, I keened in on Ashcloud whose brand of scathing death metal is exactly what I’m missing in my life.
As a band that doesn’t really add anything new to your sound and finds a comfortable spot in the traditions of the genre in question, it’s, even more, a challenging to make yourself sound interesting and not literally like every other group of the style. That’s a challenge that Ashcloud faced when creating their upcoming miasma of death and decayed, aptly titled “Kingdom of the Damned”, yet somehow these Swedish men of undeath managed to create a ten-track record that is all but fucking smashing down to the very cover art. Helmed by the vocalist from the renowned Wombbath, Ashcloud did a truly awesome job with “Kingdom of the Damned” as it’s by no means a far cry from “casual” death metal, but this group brings a level of raw intensity and structure that you really only see in the underground from the quality bands, and it helps add an extra layer of flavoring to the madness that really helps make it stand out. Monstrous riffs combined with an unbridled ferocity of all forms come together with this album in order for these Swedes to really demonstrate that even after putting out a few full-length records they’re not going to throw in the towel yet, and it’s levels of determination like that which earns my absolute approval. Few bands manage to accomplish such, and somehow Ashcloud did it seemingly with least amount of effort but maximum passion put into everything they do with an amazing fucking result in the end.
In a genre where there’s so much generic crap and a hardcore sense of traditionalism, Aschloud does such a solid job with this album to where they paid a beautiful tribute to the original flame of the style while simultaneously remaining modern and not stale upon closer inspection. Simply, it’s impossible to not listen to the whole piece all the way through more than once. “Kingdom of the Damned” did just about everything that it could’ve done right, and once you start listening you can’t ignore the delicious plague that has started spreading through your mind.
“Kingdom of the Damned” release on June 20th via Xtreem Music!
LISTEN to 2 advanced tracks from “Kingdom of the Damned” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Ashcloud on Facebook here.