Label: Death Prayer Records
Date: October 7th, 2022
It has been a really long time since I listened to some good black metal. You know that magical circle that we all are sometimes caught in, to listen to the same songs over and over again? In the past few months I was a part of that exhausting “ritual”. But that on the side. So much other stuff to listen to that I thought black metal is dead but surely not in the Netherlands.
In Serbia we have many black metal bands. We are not poor in this genre. But it is known as northern music, and in Norway is the best, so I have never thought that I will find good black metal in the Netherlands.
Asgrauw is a band of new wave of black metal formed in 2010 by three men. Kaos (bass) and Batr (drums) are also members of Meslamtaea, as I saw, whose previous album Abaddon Magazine also reviewed.
These guys really know how to make an aggressive piece of music. In both bands, everything they play is on max speed and energy. As Asgrauw, this is their fifth album for twelve years of existence. Good for the start.
Album “Façade” consists of eight songs and it starts with the first published single called “Versplinterd Hout”. It’s an aggressive yet melodic song that tells us everything about Asgrauw’s genre. But what I don’t like about the song is that there is no introduction. Right away, as you turn on the album, it starts like the song is in the middle part. Of course, many black metal bands have those kinds of intros, and sometimes it’s just too much.
“Geketend” is my favourite song from the album. It has some kind of melodic but melancholic sound with a few different background melodies. It’s less monotonous than the first track.
Vocals in all songs are a little bit confusing. Clean vocal of Vaal is just screaming too much and, like a spell, it is telling words but growls are just in place. It fits really well and I like it very much. One more thing I would like them to pay attention to is the understanding of what Vaal is singing. I know it is really hard in this kind of technique to sing and make listeners understand the words but at least try.
Punk riffs are also present very much, in songs like “Zielloos” and “Hernemen”. In all of these songs, no exceptions, background melodies are beautiful, melodic and if we listen closer they are all different. They give the album a mark as also do vocals in some way.
I pay attention especially to the compatibility of the album. Here, that is not present. Every song is there for itself so you can expel some song out of the album and it won’t be noticed. It’s not a bad thing, but also maybe it would make album better if songs have some kind of a connection. You know those moments like: “Oh, this song is from that album”. Here, that is not present.
The artwork is really magical, as I can see on the other four albums also. It’s symbolical and dark. One of those artworks that catches our eyes on merchandise table. A man alone, bothered by dead souls or his own demons. We don’t know but surely you can feel the darkness from it. In front of Asgrauw is a good carrier and so many inspirations and albums they can bring to the world of metal.