EP Review: Godless Oath – Ashen


Yet another evil beast crawls out of Perth, Western Australia…

Ashen come to us with their brand-spanking-new EP “Godless Oath,” out now on the increasingly stacked with brilliance Bitter Loss Records. Your Grouchy Friend was slavering over the opportunity to again write about his fellow Perth-ites, and The Great Mackintosh muscled in on this one for two reasons:

  1. He asked “can Your Grouchy Friend really be trusted to write about ANOTHER Perth band?”
  2. The EP absolutely slaps, and The Mack Daddy has been spotted wandering around the editing room muttering to himself about “fucking magnificence” with said EP at eye watering volumes.
  3. (Great Mack here, Yeah he said two, I say three. The Dutch (Dirk Hartog to be precise) didn’t want “Perth,” Satan took it, implanted 5G towers there, and made every bastard go to Death Metal school. Don’t trust Your Grouchy Friend, he plays in a local band called “The Rothschildren” and eats lizard food for breakfast. Anybody who uses the term “it slaps” needs a good one. No slapping involved here, this is a family friendly site, and my eyes have never watered, I just cry like a bitch every time I hear “Asphyxiant.” it moves me…)

The duo share their thoughts on the EP below, and for a special treat Your Grouchy Friend was again sent into the field and experienced the EP launch last weekend, returning with a renewed love for the material and two live videos to share with TMW readers.

Essentially a power trio, Ashen make full use of the simplicity of vision that affords: Great space, superb focus on simple, driving motifs, and room for vocal dominance that is exploited to the full. Being moved by music is surely the sole purpose for listening, and that will occur for each person in a highly subjective fashion: Ashen is moving. This EP becomes more and more addictive with subsequent listens, not for contrived complexity but for the pounding ear worms that reside in each and every composition. The title track “Godless Oath” is a textbook example of how to take a strong melodic theme, compose from it using variations on that theme, and come out of it with an engaging and stomping tune that takes residence in the sub-conscious mind. Catching this one live resulted in being absolutely in the moment – Your Grouchy Friend doesn’t drink so it really takes something special to create that removed-from-reality live music feeling – and coming back to the track since has been a treat. The instant when this one drops hard into its main riff is pure bloody joy, best experienced at high volume.

(Simple explanation. A great song, no need to explain that you don’t drink you overly tall basketball loving latte sipping bag of dicks. This song will rape your cat, and be extremely proud of that fact. I swear on this oath before no fucking god – The Great Mack.)

Sonically, Marko Tervonen guitarist of The Crown mixed the EP at his Studio-MT in Trollhättan, Sweden and the end product sounds spectacular. The massive bottom end on “Mass Cremation” may well be, in my Grouchy opinion, the best mixed bass sound since early Bloodbath and there is certainly a similarity in the quality of the low frequencies between this track in particular and that of “Nightmares Made Flesh.” It accommodates the thundering drum sounds perfectly and translated incredibly well into the live sound. Again, the power trio set up affords some real sonic clarity across the frequency spectrum that can be eaten (reference intentional) by the inclusion of other elements.

(Big bottom end.. Here goes our mate Grouchy getting all Spinal Tap on us, and forgetting the fact that some Queen song about “Big Bottoms” actually was highly successful. Sure this song is fat, and the bass is fat, but just say “FUCK MAN! THIS IS HUGE!” Frequencies? The average punter on here frequents the toilet, the grog shop, and their local Weed/Meth/Ice dealer and thinks EVERYTHING is freaky – The Great Mack.)

Ashen “Mass Cremation” Live at Lucy’s Love Shack

Just as one has the feeling he or she has the band figured out after three tracks, “Asphyxiant” comes in with such an evolved feel. Some excellent effect choices propel this one to a very high level indeed: What sounds like heavily chorused bass and liquid-flanger guitar sounds drive the early going, with things taking a decidedly Morbid Angel-esqe direction as the song progresses. “Asphyxiant” represents the high point on this fantastic release and raises real questions about what a full length release might entail.

(Translation – this is good shit you posh cunt. Lazy fuckers best get off their collective arses and do something LONGER. “Asphyxiant” made me break my face on my lounge. Now I just sit on the floor and eat jelly, not that righteous packet shit though. No, the kind that you buy in a pack of twelve at the Dollar Shop thinking it may contain Vodka or something. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t… – The Great Mack.)

Ashen “Asphyxiant” Live at Lucy’s Love Shack

The “Godless Oath” EP closes with yet another belter of a track: “Inferno.” A stomping, pacey and to the point slice of incredibly enjoyable Death Metal. Another example of songwriting that doesn’t screw around – the song revolves around a strong central riff and pounding drums that serve the song perfectly without unnecessary complexity.

With the pressing concerns of a rapidly cooling latte and a cat in need of therapy it seems time to wrap this one up. To paraphrase Mrs Slocombe, my pussy was left ravaged by this EP. It’s a raw and to the point collection of songs with a crowning moment in “Asphyxiant” that is suggestive of a high ceiling of creativity for Ashen. The distilled precision of each element gives the songs a timeless quality that is sure to appeal to Death Metal fans the world over, and the production delivers them in a package that is ripe for consumption.

Ashen are yet another example of a Perth scene that is bursting at the seams with talent. They have served up a superb debut effort, and if the band’s social media are to be be believed there is much more in the pipeline. Get this EP. Simple.

(Now that the latte sipping golf hat wearing old fart has stopped blabbering and gone back to writing songs for his Pseudo Echo/Faith no More/White stripes tribute band “The Nasty Bits,” let us put this into words that the common man who probably owns a dog as cats are for big fairies who like having hair all over the place and an animal with a brain the size of a pea can understand.

This fucker, will not only upset your PH value, but it will also destroy your Feng Shui by destroying your entire house quicker than a big bad wolf on a diet of baked beans in a bad mood on a rainy Sunday morning can. Heavy is an understatement, if this were any heavier it would be on a Jenny Craig ad. It is so heavy in fact that it took a team of elephants five days to carry the end product to the label and more than fifty rat tail wearing eunuchs then locked it away in a lead safe so that none of it would leak out and accidently break through the floor.

In even simpler terms. Just buy the cunt of a thing. One of the finest releases this year, fact. – The Great Mack.)

Rating 5/5

(10/10 you knob… Yep, me again!)




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