ASGRAUW
Schijngestalten (2014) By xDemoNx

Asgrauw come from Hollandand in May of 2014 they release their first full length album called “Schijngestalten”. The band consists of three members and it exists since 2010 while it has released a demo in 2012. The cd that I received is self-financed, without any artwork, simple and minimal. The album contains eight compositions of overall duration of about forty minutes. Well, moving to the music that Asgrauw present to us, here we come across harsh, full of energy, Scandinavian Black Metal with quite a lot of epic references as also some rhythmic punk ones. But what the listener understands by the beginning of the album is that youthful enthusiasm, something that can be both positive and negative.

The riffs mainly are of fast speed, while there are a lot of medium tempo speed ones too. In the fast riffs, the band plays clean, Scandinavian, violent Black Metal full of hatred and energy that it can bring to the listener’s mind a mixture of Immortal and Enslaved. In the medium speed, as also in the slow parts that we will come across, the band follows more epic roads combining these Enslaved influences with a majestic, Emperor – like atmosphere and aesthetic. The few parts of rhythmic punk that may remind of Motorhead or even Venom, is a quite interesting idea for the changing of the atmosphere and the style. Generally we will find quite interesting riffs which put out passion and intensity, while they create a beautiful atmosphere. What may annoy the listener in some parts is their resemblance to the bands that I mentioned before. The structure of the tracks is very good, as although that the tracks are not too short (4 to 7 minutes), the changes and the smooth transition from one feeling to the other, helps a lot the listening of the album.

On the contrary to the almost nonexistent artwork, the band has given all of its attention to the instrumentation and to the sound. The guitar is the instrument that rule into the compositions giving all the energy and the passion that they demand. The bass isn’t clearly audible but it fills the sound well. The keyboards are used in quite a lot of parts of the album, they are dark and atmospheric, while their lines are minimalistic but they add that kind of majestic aesthetic to the compositions. The drums are played with stability, without mistakes and with a lot of convenience. Their lines mainly are fast, with a lot of turnings and many medium tempo passages. The vocals are the typical, possessed, harsh Black Metal vocals, which fit to the style of the compositions and they add intensity to the final result. The production is clean and somehow bass. For the mixture they have done a quite good job as it maintains the balance needed in order to highlight the elements that stand out in the compositions, other times the guitars, other times the keyboards and other times the drums, putting out a quite massive and heavy sound. The lyrics are not contained in the cd and they are written in Dutch.

In general, I believe that most of the time the enthusiasm in a band helps it to put out a better result. That’s what happened here too. Maybe there are some negative elements in the album, such as the few moments that the influences of the band are appearing more than they should and that they have faced their music with a more “mainstream” approach, but generally they have done a notable work. The fact that this is a self – financed release is another reason to listen and support the band. Listen to it.

1. De Ondergang 03:54
2. Ira 04:01
3. Maan Boven De Heuvels 06:19
4. Schimmenwereld 05:05
5. Luxuria 04:36
6. Uit Grauwe As Ontstaan 06:33
7. Avaritia 04:30
8. Wanneer De Schemering Valt 04:15