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Ash Borer is a Black Metal band, originally from Arcata, CA (they now split their time between Oregon and New Mexico). They play a particularly Post-Rock-inspired variant of the genre that has garnered them quite a bit of critical acclaim. The band's songs tend to be long and gloomy, with occasional female vocals thrown in and frequent Subdued Sections.

Current members

  • M - Drums
  • A - Guitars
  • K - Guitars, vocals
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  • R - Bass, vocals

Discography

  • Demo 2009
    1. Drukne - 14:04
    2. Untitled I - 10:43

  • Ash Borer/Fell Voices (2010)
    1. Ash Borer - Untitled II - 21:20
    2. Fell Voices - Untitled III - 15:20

  • Demo 2010 (sometimes referred to as "Tour Rehearsal Demo")
    1. Untitled III note  - 7:42
    2. Untitled IV - 10:11

  • Ash Borer (2011)
    1. In the Mist of Life, We Are in Death - 12:09
    2. Rest, You Are the Lightning - 7:57
    3. My Curse Was Raised in the Darkness Against a Doomsday Silence - 19:39

  • Discography 2009-2011 (cassette-only compilation of the band's first two releases and self-titled album, minus the Fell Voices side of the split)

  • Cold of Ages (2012)
    1. Descended Lamentations - 13:27
    2. Phantoms - 11:25
    3. Convict All Flesh - 18:09
    4. Removed Forms - 15:33

  • Bloodlands (EP, 2013)
    1. Oblivion's Spring - 15:02
    2. Dirge / Purgation - 19:37

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  • The Irrepassable Gate (2016)
    1. The Irrepassable Gate - 11:48
    2. Lacerated Spirit - 10:08
    3. Lustration I - 4:16
    4. Grey Marrow - 9:32
    5. Rotten Firmament - 12:37
    6. Lustration II - 4:45

Tropes

  • Ambient: "Lustration I" probably qualifies as an example of this genre.
  • Anonymous Band: While they've performed live, they only identify themselves by a single letter each. The guitarist/vocalist is known to be named Kyle Morgan, and the drummer's name is identified as Mike on Metal Archives (he's not the same Mike as the one in Fell Voices), but the other members' identities aren't known.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Drukne" means "Drown(ing)" in Danish and Norwegian.
  • Black Metal: Specifically, belonging to the depressive black metal and black metal/post-rock subgenres.
  • Breather Episode: Again, "Lustration I".
  • Canon Discontinuity: As seen above, the band's 2010 demo was excluded from their 2011 "discography" tape. It's also not listed on their bandcamp page.
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  • Dark Reprise: "Lustration II" is essentially a metal version of "Lustration I".
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to other West Coast black metal bands.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Most of the band's packaging is this. The band's self-titled album, when issued on LP, was mostly red and black instead (interestingly, there were two different colour schemes which essentially swapped the red with the black). This could be a case of Red and Black and Evil All Over, or a reference to anarchism, with which the band implicitly identified by using the tagline "Godless, Masterless, Hopeless" on their MySpace in their early days. The Irrepassable Gate has a sepia colour scheme.
  • Drone of Dread: "Phantoms" ends with a lengthy section of this.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: Most of their songs have this.
  • Epic Rocking: As seen above, the "Lustration" tracks are their shortest, being around four and five minutes respectively. However, the first is an instrumental interlude and the second is essentially an outro. Apart from those, their shortest song, "Rest, You Are the Lightning", still comes in at nearly eight minutes in both versions. All of their other songs last at least nine and a half minutes, with three of them nearing or topping twenty minutes.
  • Fading into the Next Song or Siamese Twin Songs: The two songs on side two of Bloodlands ("Dirge" and "Purgation"). The band aren't telling where the division is, but according to Adam Bartlett of Gilead Media, which released the vinyl edition, the band confirmed that they're two separate songs. Also, the first two songs on the self-titled ("In the Midst of Life, We Are in Death" and "Rest, You Are the Lightning").
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Not helped by the lack of a lyrics booklet in every single album. For all we know, the vocals could be wordless screams.
  • Instrumentals:
    • The 2010 demo. Vocals were added when "Rest, You Are the Lightning" was re-recorded.
    • "Lustration I" on The Irrepassable Gate. "Lustration II" has a few vocals near the end, but they're practically an afterthought, and a listener paying cursory attention might not even notice them.
  • Lighter and Softer: The production on the CD version Cold of Ages was generally less heavy than that of the band's preceding work. This created a Broken Base, so the LP version was given a heavier mix, which was generally better received.
  • Long Title: All of the songs on their self-titled, but especially the last one.
  • Loudness War: Some of the digital versions are kind of squished and/or clipped (Bloodlands and the 2010 demo are particularly bad about this). Most of their recordings were also released in vinyl and cassette editions which sometimes avert this trope, but the 2010 demo was only released as a limited-edition CD-R.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The metal sections are generally 9-10, but they frequently dip lower for variety.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Averted; the bass is usually mixed fairly clearly, which is somewhat rare for black metal.
  • No Title: Following the example of Fell Voices, four of their songs are untitled (although one of these is a demo of "Rest, You Are the Lightning").
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Irrepassable" isn't actually a word, though it can be inferred to mean a Point of No Return.
  • Post-Rock: To an extent that the 2009 demo sounds like Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing black metal. They toned it down on the later recordings, but it's still an influence.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their 2011 album.
  • Shout-Out: "In the Midst of Life, We Are in Death" is commonly used in funerals; it's been around since at least 750 AD and has also been uttered by people such as Hartmann von Aue, Martin Luther, and Thomas Cranmer.
  • Soprano and Gravel: The last two songs on Cold of Ages feature female backing vocals to contrast with the band's Harsh Vocals.
  • Stylistic Suck: The 2010 demo sounds like a vinyl rip, with crackling and static appearing at some parts of the recording. This was likely intentional.
  • Subdued Section/Breather Episode: Generally at least once a song.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Lustration I", though it maintains the gloomy atmosphere of the band's other material.
  • Uncommon Time: "Lacerated Spirit" has at least one section with three measures of 4/4 followed by a measure of 3/4, amounting to 15/4. A later section of the same song is in 7/8.
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