When members of Aussie underground heroes Vespers Descent, Darkenium, Chaos Divine, Burial Ground, and Nexus conspire to brutalize more death metal maniacs, they do so in budding crushers Ashen. Formed pre-COVID in the far-flung city of Perth, Ashen merge the Swedish and American styles into a cohesive beast, one that uses the HM-2 sound and crushes it with a melange of monstrous Floridian and New York paradigms. This is modern-day death metal infused with the spirit of death metal pre-1992.
Say Ashen: “We are a four-piece death metal band from Perth, Australia. This release, Godless Oath, is bringing our influences together and play the music we love of old-school death metal. We can’t wait to share with everyone.”
Indeed, we can’t either, which is why Decibel and Aussie indie Bitter Loss Records have teamed up to premiere Ashen’s debut EP, Godless Oath. Set supremely across five killer tracks, the EP hits hard, often, and then lets go. It’s the kind of attention deficit death metal that works so well in times of supreme distraction. To go through opening title track, “Godless Oath,” and to end up with closing bruiser “Inferno” is an 18-minute exercise that checks all the requisite boxes. Heavy. Catchy. Dark. Imposing. And, performed with conviction. That it was mixed and mastered by Marko Tervonen (The Crown) at Studio MT in Sweden translates to cross-hemisphere cooperation and a recognition of origin importance.
We’ve already blasted through Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Vader’s Sothis, and Crematory’s Denial today. Adding Ashen’s Godless Oath to the stack is not only a no-brainer, but mandatory.