Claret Ash is an Australian progressive black metal act. They were formed in 2012 and their music is about that dark sound consisting of atmospheric and melodic elements. The band’s name comes from the Claret Ash tree (Fraxinus Raywood), a deciduous tree that turns a dark red color during autumn.
After having released two albums in the past, the band has released “The Great Adjudication: Fragment One” in November 2017 and the vinyl edition will be released soon. The concept about humanity’s interactions with nature, which was dealt with in the previous record “The Cleansing”, is also the focus of this release with expansions. Let’s dig deep.
Before listening to the album, I expected to listen to pure black metal but surprisingly, the band’s style is beyond BM with traces of death and progressive metal from here and there, which I found quite refreshing in a record like this. Since there is no atmosphere or no passages, the album’s pace is quite upbeat and straightforward so the listener will definitely experience those refreshing and versatile moments. This might be in the aspect of technical elements or in forms of both clean vocals and growls. One highlight of the album is definitely the melodies that stay on the listener’s mind. They are technical but reflect the emotions quite well.
Even though there are some aspects I like about this album, something seemed to be lacking. I felt that the band maybe experimented a bit too much with this album as the vocal styles seemed to change a lot. Furthermore, the production wasn’t quite smooth when it came to the clean vocals. As a matter of fact, in a release like this, I would have preferred the elements to have more integrity as to make the record smoother. So my advice to the band would be to keep the integrity and their sound without experimenting a little bit too much. It’s already a great sign that the band deals with certain themes and concepts and I am sure that the band will take their sound further with next records.
“The Great Adjudication: Fragment One” might not be my favorite but it might be interesting for you black metal lovers out there. Give it a try.
James – guitars, vocals
Josh – guitars
Nick – bass
Stuart – drums
1. Essence of Fire
3. The Noose
4. Plague Bearer
5. The Gyre
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