[The Russian title of this album looks like Nechb Beneca, but is better transliterated as Pesn’ Velesa, which means Veles’ Song. -Editor]
From Russia with more hate (if you’ll excuse the pun) comes Ashen Light and if you love Graveland and Nokturnal Mortum, you’re sure to like this band as well. This five-piece sounds a bit young when it comes to musical maturity and it’s immediately noticeable that the keyboards are the dominant instrument here. In fact, I kind of wonder why they bother including guitars in many places. The reason I wonder about that is because the keyboards drown them out so much that if these guys are playing actual riffs or just playing the same chord over and over again, you’d never really know for sure. The biggest problem with this album is that none of the songs really reached out and throttled me half to death. They’re all pretty good and the playing is fairly competent but they all follow a derivative song structure where you can - if you really have nothing better to do with your time - predict where and when certain change-ups occur. Nechb Beneca isn’t the greatest album to come out of Eastern Europe, but Ashen Light has my attention and I’ve put them on my watch list. If they can get a better sound and incorporate their obvious Slavic Folk influences more into their songs (instead of overlaying it over noisy guitars by playing them on the keyboards that overpower everything else), then you’ll be able to mention them in the same breath as the previously mentioned Graveland and Nokturnal Mortum without people asking you who the fuck they are.
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