Album: Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth
Label: eOne Heavy
Release Date: 10/09/2021
Country: United Kingdom
The Kingston Upon Hull based five piece present us with their most ambitious offering to date. To thank for this we have Jim Hodge (vocals), James Andrew Lee (guitar), Phil Johnson (guitar), Dan Dolby (bass) and Michael Shepherd (drum).
The band have always had a profoundly harsh aesthetic, combining sludge metal, hardcore and grindcore elements to form their unique sound. Don’t assume though that simply because they focus on harshness and aggression that there is an absence of atmosphere on the album. You need to look no further than the intro track The Hiss to realise that this is simply not the case. The band build an ominous sense of dread with the opener and set the stage for an album that is both auditorily and emotionally crushing. Depressive instrumental elements hit the listener while feedback and distortion cascade over the top of these elements. You’ll find this level of atmosphere displayed throughout the album at various points.
Following this track however that aforementioned raw aggression kicks in immediately. What follows is a blend of various track lengths, some more in the grindcore realm coming in at between 1 and 2 minutes and some longer more drawn-out racks ranging from 3 to 7 minutes in length. Both offer the listener very different experiences but make up one half of the whole experience that the album has to offer. The album focuses in equal parts on its three primary genre influences sludge, grind and hardcore and you’ll find that certain tracks will pick one of these styles as its primary focus. However other tracks expertly combine all three into one shifting and evolving offering. These are the tracks that really stand out on the album. such as Repulse, Futile, Scalped and my personal favourite (the almost 7-minute epic) Lung Rust. That’s not to say that the more singularly focused tracks aren’t as solid. Fail, Midnight Creeper, Beige Sabbath and Endless are all high energy, highly enjoyable offerings of grind and hardcore.
Throughout the album you’ll find harsh, raw vocals that shift between multiple styles but are primarily of a barked/howled nature. These pair with a variety of different guitar tones and temples, ranging from downtuned and fuzzy throughout to raw and barbed. These are played at either a slow and crushing pace or breakneck speed and the fact that it’s a dual guitar assault gives the band that much more room to maneuver. Drum wise we have a similar situation to the guitar work with either a pummeling assault or crushingly slow and heavy hammering. Bass wise we have an equally varied mix between bouncy hardcore rhythms and more heavy depth adding/padding work.
Overall, this is one hell of an album and one that I can see receiving a high level of praise from both fans and critics alike in the coming months. If you like heavy or harsh music in any capacity I suggest listening to this release. I genuinely believe that the album has something for everyone with its varied nature and ever-changing aesthetic. So, get your pre-orders in today or come back tomorrow and pick up your copy, but don’t sleep on this one.
Listen to and order the album: