Golden Ashes - In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night: Review
Maurice de Jong is probably known best for his work with the dark and experimental Gnaw Their Tongues, yet he releases music under several identities, one such is Golden Ashes, who has recently released a new album titled, In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night (nice and easy to remember). Like a lot of experimental music in the metal sphere right now, Golden Ashes uses Black Metal as a basis, from there de Jong layers in atmospheric synths and electronic strings.
The end product is essentially a two-pronged sonic attack, the full force onslaught of blackened blast beats and tortured vocals colliding with gloomy, almost funeral doom sounding electronics, that in places almost play two entirely different things, not so much complimenting each other but not clashing either, they co-exist and as such deliver an atmosphere that's not like much you've heard before.
It may take a few listens to really find the groove here and get into the swing of things, in all honestly some may find it jarring if heading into the record with no real expectations. The albums, subtle nuances begin to shine around the third playthrough, almost as though they were hiding, only revealing themselves when the time is right.
This is a record that requires an open mind, it's experimental and it's early days for the project too, that's not to take anything away from de Jong, this is a positive review after all. It always feels like a cop-out, as a reviewer to tell you the reader, "You need to hear this for yourself" as it's our job to sell the album should it deserve it or warn you off if it's not up to scratch, all this is, of course, subjective and you should always make your own mind up but I digress. This is (another) album you really need to hear to fully make your mind up, somethings words just can do justice to, and avant-garde black metal experimental albums are one of those things.
In an attempt to sum up and maybe draw a comparison, imagine Mayhem played over a My Dying Bride instrumental and you'd be on the right path to understanding Golden Ashes. In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night is immersive, it's bleak yet exciting and conjures imagery like the best of them, it's swelling strings, crashing waves of synth and thunderous metal all combine to present a truly compelling piece of music.