Thursday, 20 June 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: This Gift Is A Curse, "A Throne of Ash"

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/06/2019
Label: Season of Mist

”A Throne of Ash” will gnaw its way deep into your conscious and stay there as an unremovable tumour clamping your nerves, producing both pleasure and agony in unison.

A Throne of Ash” CD//CS/DD//LP track listing:

1. Hæma
2. Blood Is My Harvest
3. Thresholds
4. Gate Dweller
5. Monuments for Dead Gods
6. Wolvking
7. I Am Katharsis
8. In Your Black Halo
9. Wormwood Star

The Review:

This Gift Is A Curse made themselves known to a wider audience with their Season of Mist debut ”All Hail the Swine Lord” in 2015, and now the Swedes return to finish (or rather continue) what they started with ”A Throne of Ash. Stylistically deep-rooted in blackened hardcore and sludge, the Scandinavians prove they've been perfecting their dim crafts over recent years, and the result is a retributing, gargantuan and thumpingly heavy album that forces you to return to it again and again. 

Like the majority of all things, ”A Throne of Ash” is not for everyone, however that doesn't mean the album wouldn't be worth your while. The album’s atmosphere is violent and isolated. The eerie, occultist photographic artwork draws attention to it repeatedly, and the fact that the album was recorded in an abandoned house away from the public noise just adds to the intriguing aspect of it all. Tracks such as "Thresholds" and "Monuments For Dead Gods" make sure to deprive all light from your surroundings, while the burners like "I Am Katharsis" and "Wormwood Star" make you question the fact that was there any light to begin with.

What's particularly alluring, is that even though the mix is abrasive and chaotic to the point it makes your ears bleed, every single frequently planted hook still cuts through like the very sickle pictured in the artwork. The raw and hurting ethos is constant, from the first distorted drum hits on the moodsetting intro track "Hæma" to the very last ritualistic ambience of the final track. Considering the album as a whole, it starts and ends to extremes, and is nothing but that in between. While I personally enjoy the silence most when an album ends, it can be deliberated if ”A Throne of Ash” should have some quiet waters here and there, instead of the constant rough flow that now lasts throughout its duration. After all, it goes on for a good 45 minutes, which can be a very long time for someone inclined for more compositionally dynamic variation. But on the other end of the scale, if you're looking to get beaten and pulverised without a single allusion of remorse, this is meant for you.

This Gift Is A Curse is here to leave a mark. They won't inflict similiar, mendable fleshwounds as a lot of the artists on these genres do; Instead, they'll gnaw their way deep into your conscious and stay there as an unremovable tumour clamping your nerves, producing both pleasure and agony in unison. ”A Throne of Ash" is a tremendous record, that paves the way for the band to become a more haunting, household name. Again, the album is not for everyone, but those who find themselves listening to it over and over again, will be purged from the grip of every day humanity.

A Throne of Ash” is available HERE

Band info: facebook || bandcamp