It's not often that I find a new piece of music that blows my mind inside out. The Ember, The Ash has done exactly that with their constantly expanding blend of unforgettable riffs, epic atmosphere, and the kind of heaviness you dream of hearing but rarely find anywhere.
Favorite track: Strychnine.
"The blueprint laid down throughout Fixation's 37 minutes is a curious hybrid of symphonic black metal and elegant metalcore. Within, there's room for surprising detours such as the Spanish guitars on 'A Growing Emptiness' or the black-metal-goes-Muse approach that provides an outro for 'The Colossal Void'. Some might baulk at such a preposterous proposition on paper, but the sheer exuberance of the music makes it difficult not to be swept up in its bombast. 8/10"
- Metal Hammer Magazine
"Blessed with a production that favors infernal squall over the immaculate squeak of a Pro Tools grid, "Fixation" loudly demonstrates its creators' allegiance to the dark side. Far more than any of their blackened peers, THE EMBER, THE ASH make this willful combining of disparate elements sound like the most natural thing in the world."
"The Ember, the Ash has a sound dominated by loud, grimy guitars that are sharp as knives and a vocal style that screams (yes, literally) “-core.” Said screams are a bit of an acquired taste, but they suit the music well; dark, it’s jagged, and symphonic for sure, with distant synths coating the grimy riffs with a gloomy edge that makes the song more digestible for those who aren’t big on deathcore and its related styles."
"Fixation‘s first single and opening track is called “Strychnine,” and it’s a frantic, furious two-and-a-half-minute wallop with a screeching guitar riff and a growling fight-music energy. While most of 鬼’s music seems like an attempt to navigate a difficult inner landscape, “Strychnine” is the kind of discordant fight music that reminds me of prime Converge. It kicks ass."
"Unpredictably hard-hitting but dramatically sweeping, the record is stream-of-consciousness view into the mind of a modern metal fan. One minute, you’re getting helpings of Slipknot and Code Orange; the next it’s Emperor, Naglfar, and Sigh; then blindsiding doses of Polyphia and Igorrr kick in. The end product is hard to turn off, and seems to herald a new sound that could believably sweep across metal as a whole — if it doesn’t alienate everybody along the way."
"The much-awaited sophomore album Fixation takes a bold and unflinching deviation away from the already established sound and launches The Ember, The Ash into a new world of possibilities and a genre-defining supernova of colliding styles. This explosion of sound brings a veritable showcase of metal flavors, from the ever-present metalcore and symphonic black metal to more mainstream influences."
released May 14, 2021
all music written, recorded & mixed by 鬼
mastered by nekkomix
cover art by moonroot art
photography by robin parsons
Under every black metal album on here you see the word "cold" - and hell I own all those, too. But it's nice to experience something distinctly BM but which you could, with only minor reservations, describe as "warm". I confess I prefer the 2nd half of the album to the Hans Zimmer opening suite, but I really enjoy what this band have going on. Luke