Ascetic Eventide
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PURE WRATH - Ascetic Eventide cover
4.74 | 5 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2017


1. Colourless Grassland (7:02)
2. Mountain Calls (8:46)
3. Clouds Retiring (7:53)
4. In Cold World (4:52)
5. Pathetic Fantasies (6:07)
6. Between Water and Winds (8:20)

Total Time 43:00


- Januaryo Hardy / Everything

About this release

Format: CD (500 copies)
Label: Hitam Kelam Records
Release date: February 20th, 2017

Format: 12" vinyl (33⅓ RPM) (300 copies)
Label: Throats Productions
Release date: February 21st, 2017

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Indonesia musician Januaryo Hardy is not someone whose music I have personally encountered before, but it seems that even at just twenty-three years old at the time of writing that he's already built up a quite impressive CV within the scene of brutal death metal. He is a member of the groups Cadavoracity (playing bass and doing drum programming) and Omnivorous (doing vocals) and has a solo project within the style as well, Perverted Dexterity. He also has a number of mixing and mastering credits to his name, mostly for fellow Indonesian artists (he is the owner of Insidious Soundlab).

Hardy's latest musical venture of his own is a second solo project. It may carry the rather corny and angry sounding moniker of Pure Wrath, a name that kinda implies something in the ballpark of his other work, or at least something quite violent sounding, but the cover art of debut album Ascetic Eventide (2017) alone should be enough to tell prospective listeners that this project marks a departure from the brutal death metal pastures of his other groups. The artwork brings mind to nature themed black metal acts such as Winterfylleth and Saor and that's exactly the kind of music the album contains: Januaryo Hardy has released his first attempt at an atmospheric black metal album.

I say attempt, but really that sells what Januaryo Hardy has created a bit short, as Ascetic Eventide is quick to show that it's a stunning debut record for the Pure Wrath project. Hardy shows that he's very adept at creating excellent atmospheric black metal right off the bat with the opening Colourless Grassland and then continues to deliver across a further five tracks. Expect in addition to traditional atmospheric black metal guitar rhythms some use of folk elements, haunting piano parts and ambient sound effects that really promote the whole naturalistic vibe. The formula isn't changed up all that much across the six tracks but at forty-three minutes the total length of the album is about right for it to work very well at being something the listener can lose themselves in for a time. The highpoint for me personally though is the closing track, Between Water and Winds. Here, Pure Wrath goes all out and ends up creating a mini-masterpiece of the genre.

You'd think that Hardy had spent all his time creating atmospheric black metal rather than the very different style of brutal death metal based on Ascetic Eventide. The album sees me coming away with the thought that it's one of 2017's most surprising gems of the atmospheric black metal genre. I'm definitely eager to hear more from this project now.

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