ASHENSPIRE — Hostile Architecture

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

ASHENSPIRE - Hostile Architecture cover
4.00 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 2022

Tracklist


1. The Law of Asbestos (8:31)
2. Béton Brut (5:18)
3. Plattenbau Persephone Praxis (6:45)
4. How the Mighty Have Vision (2:40)
5. Tragic Heroin (3:15)
6. Apathy as Arsenic Lethargy as Lead (4:53)
7. Palimpsest (3:05)
8. Cable Street Again (9:31)

Total Time 43:58

Line-up/Musicians


- Alasdair Dunn / Voice, Drums
- Fraser Gordon / Guitars, Voice
- James Johnson / Violin, Voice
- Matthew Johnson / Saxophone, Voice

- Ben Brown / Bass
- Scott McLean / Rhodes, Prepared Piano
- Rylan Gleave / Tenor/Bass Voice
- Amaya López-Carromero / Soprano/Alto Voice
- Otrebor / Hammered Dulcimer

About this release

Released July 18, 2022
Label: Aural Music
Formats: Digital, CD, Vinyl

Thanks to tupan for the addition

Buy ASHENSPIRE - HOSTILE ARCHITECTURE music

More places to buy metal & ASHENSPIRE music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports

ASHENSPIRE HOSTILE ARCHITECTURE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
The avant-garde metal band ASHENSPIRE first hit the scene in the Scottish capital city Glasgow in 2013 and five years later released its debut “Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary” in 2017. The band stuck out like a sore thumb in the world of extreme metal with a bizarre mix of black metal guitar gallops, a lugubrious string-quartet violin presence, some sizzling saxophone squeaking and the most uncharacteristic attribute of all, an unhinged vocal narration that sounded more like a madman on a rant rather than any proper singer in the world of metal. As much anarcho-punk as jazz-metal, the debut tackled the multi-century exploitation and brutality of the British Empire across the planet and with a less than subtle declarative decree, ASHENSPIRE was on the scene.


Skip ahead five years and the band is back with its second offering of hostility titled HOSTILE ARCHITECTURE all dressed for a riot in its favorite chimeric mix of black metal, gypsy / chamber swing, soul jazz and madman poetry only this time the band has been getting more than its share of attention for its acrid societal critique of the collapsing social order. Basically HOSTILE ARCHITECTURE is a manic report of the failures of the New World Order and the elite power structures that have crafted the pyramid system of control that propels them to the lap of luxury at the expense of the masses which now find themselves in utter decay as they increasingly live in squalor with fetid infrastructure and inequality ubiquitous.

This is an album that’s gotten a lot of coverage in 2022 for its unorthodox mix of black metal savagery pacified by a melodic sax and violin dueling stabilizing force. Sounding like he escaped the insane asylum and forgot his meds, drummer / lead vocalist Alasdair Dunn delivers all his scathing societal reviews like an adrenalized protester with steadfast supplications of remedy while the thundering force of a black metal freight train finds the rampaging post-metal processions decorated by sultry cyclical sax squawking and ear-piercing ostinato violin grooves haunting the depressive anxious dissonant protest.

Musically, this band reminds me a lot of Norway’s Shining with its depressive disso-black metal joined by a jazzified form of brutal prog only with the extra touches of a chamber rock violin performance. All in all the music is quite impressive with with lyrics that evoke the pungent explosive pluckiness not heard since Crass haunted the UK with its angsty art punk in the early 1980s. While the musical procession is quite unique to ASHENSPIRE, the album tends to run on the same high octane fuel for its duration with the exception of the intermezzo interstitial interrupting “How The Mighty Have Vision” which recalls the bizarre style of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum which also made ample use of violins in an avant-metal context.

This is an album i really want to love because it has everything that i love about a creative passionate modern day metal band that is setting the world on fire however as flexibie and far-reaching as my musical insatiability is, there are still a few stylistic approaches that totally rub me the wrong way and therefore i find myself on an opposite spin from my music loving contemporaries in the world. Musically this is spot on in about every way from the frenetic syncopation of the guitar, bass and drums to the lenifying efficacy of the violin and sax combo and the morbid mix of it all. What really keeps me from hella lovin’ ASHENSPIRE simply boils down to the vocal style. I just can’t get into spoken word musical performances with the exception of some sort of frantic weirdness in the vein of Captain Beefheart who recited his beat poetry like a mutant reject of the Montauk Project.

On the one hand the half-spoken, half-sung lyrics do allow the lyrics to be understood which is not the case in the vast majority of growly voiced extreme metal these days however for a lead vocalist to pull this off convincingly, the said singer must shave some sort of above average charisma or stylistic approach that adds to the one / two punch of the musical performances. That is how i find this album completely lopsided. For those who can tolerate the vocals, you will absolutely love this one. Excellent lyrical content, outstanding musical content. For me it’s like eating a delicious cinnamon roll with raisins in it. I hate raisins :(
bartosso
When you can't see the stars, you stop dreaming of space

For a band to not only reach the bar set for avant-garde metal by Kayo Dot and maudling of the Well, but to also put another brick on this wobbly Jenga tower of a genre, without making it fall apart, is no small achievement. To simultaneously turn the whole thing into a poignant left-wing manifesto borders on a miracle. And yet here we are, looking at a perfectly fine Jenga tower.

Conceptually, Hostile Architecture is a searing critique of late capitalism and its urban manifestations, brutal and classist by design. You will both bang your head and shake your fist at the nearest anti-homeless bench. Musically, it's a festival of masterfully repurposed influences (notably KD and A Forest of Stars) that ends up being way more than the sum of its parts. You will recognize the elements but also appreciate how fresh they sound together. Emotionally, it's a furious protest against injustice, oppression and chauvinism of all kinds. The ferociousness of black metal is given new meaning here and chamber music arrangements provide it with gravity.

Personally, I feel like Hostile Architecture reopened wounds that had already started to scar up with indifference and I feel strangely thankful. The world may be doomed, but music like this is a reminder that social resistance is not only necessary. It can also be beautiful.

Members reviews

No ASHENSPIRE HOSTILE ARCHITECTURE reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Riffth Element Thrash Metal
THE FAITH HILLS HAVE EYES
Buy this album from MMA partners
Rest Metalcore
IN FEAR
Buy this album from MMA partners
Vainglory Metalcore
THEN IT ENDS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Chasm Metalcore
THEN IT ENDS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Certified Dangerous Thrash Metal
TEMPASHOT
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

TWILIGHT FORCE - Powerwind (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
TWILIGHT FORCE
Tupan· 16 minutes ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us