Heavensore – Asmodai

Heavensore – Asmodai (Utech Records)

Here is a new band that doesn’t feel at all afraid to represent the doom/sludge sound of Greece, crushing the borders of heaviness and building the foundations for something unique and solid. The guys were practicing this shit for around two years, patient and focused to achieve their very high standards. It’s really important to know that this is not a band that decided to base its sound on the probably lax results of its first rehearsals, but constantly strived for more. It’s something well thought, well executed and aurally destroying.

First of all this is a record that demands patience from the listener; exactly the same patience these players had in order to enrich this work. “Asmodai” consists of three songs only, the two of them lasting about 20 minutes each, so it’s a tough tune. The record begins with a free jazz song having a lot of noise in the background not sharp but hollow, concluding somehow into the first riff of the following track. I mentioned above free jazz as an element and I have to say that this specific element can be heard in the other songs too. Heavensore’s sound is megaton-heavy and suffocating, exploring all the paths from the doom and the sludge scene, without being predictable. “Tabula Smaragdina” is a terrifying monster of a song, where heavy riffs and vocals collide. It’s like you have Grief playing on the first floor, Albert Ayler with his band on the second one  and Family Battle Snake on the third. The case is that this conglomerate is truly well done. The key to this is that, Heavensore is really aware of this thing called dynamics in sound. All things are stretched on their canvas with a crucial, risky and controversial manner that makes the band a winner. The bass and the drums build what is about to come, along with the guitar and the eerie vocals. It’s crucial also to notice,  while listening to “Tabula Smaragdina”, that the doom part is taken over by a free jazz part, only to come back later with the band destroying any possibility of a mere has-been improvisation group that has nothing left to offer, melting these ideas over our heads with a serious sludge riff, in order to remind us its purpose: fear and darkness. It might sound a bit childish but not that at all, dudes.

“Asmodeus” has a fine intro with some voices in equilibrium with the drone riff that follows. Suprisingly the vocals are clean, making the impression that here we have something different; and it is. Burning Witch would be proud of this. It’s scary and you can’t predict what is about to come. But hey, isn’t this the beauty of this music? I believe it is. I like to listen to something that I can’t predict; it gives me the reason to continue paying attention. Heavensore knows how to trigger this. Another aspect I should mention here is the sound engineering of this record. It’s rich and warm, giving the right space to make audible every instrument, every single vocal. It’s important for one record to have the right sound ‘cause this way you can easily listen to the whole record without melting your ears from unwanted frequencies and shit. It helps the material to breathe. This is something that happens in the song “Asmodeus”, because when the song is over you really can’t understand how all that emerged so fast and believe me, the song is about 25 minutes long!

If you have already created a picture in your head about this record reading these words, I tell you that it’s completely wrong. “Asmodai” is a hell of a debut but it’s difficult. It’s also dark enough, creating something really bizarre in your head in the end, and Stephen Kasner with his ultra terrifying artwork multiplies this rotten feeling. “Asmodai” doesn’t demand just your patience; it demands time and will to completely grasp its whole idea and picture. Time that needed Utech Records, for example, to understand that this is a record dedicated for specific listeners (and thus limited to 750 copies). Will to overcome the difficulties and focus for something true. We wait for the second coming. It’s just a matter of time.

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~ by Θ. on 2009/01/20.

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