The Ember The Ash – Fixation (Prosthetic)

Tuesday, 1st June 2021
Rating: 8/10

One of the more intriguing black metal combinations, due to its rather unorthodox merging, is that of black metal and metalcore. Unlikely bedfellows, but there are some acts that have tried to hit the sweet spot with this blend. The Ember The Ash being one of these acts, with 鬼 as the sole member (also of Unreqvited), takes a unique blend of atmosphere, icy cold, and texture to create a memorable product with Fixation.

Fixation is all about the swirling blend of elements and emotions. Highlight “The Colossal Void” seamlessly puts together some icy blackened elements and majestic notes and merges them with some immediately heavy and modern-esque riffing and entangled melodies into a potent cinematic force. On the other hand, the title track really brings the metalcore-esque energy to the forefront, with gallant riffs and palpable grooves colliding with moody, atmospheric notes and dark elegance in a way that feels layered yet viscerally immediate. It’s this back and forth that will keep your ears at full attention, as the volley between the two opposing forces makes for some great interplay and trade-offs. The gut-punch immediacy at points (“Strychnine”) gives way to frantic urgency and blackened grace (“Consciousness Torn from the Void”) while still stopping to smell the symphonic and atmospheric roses.

The Ember The Ash really nails a sound that, on paper, seems like it shouldn’t work at all. But there’s a depth and layered beauty to be found within the grittiness and bleak atmospheres if you give it an open ear. Fixation grabs you for an enjoyable trip that is sure to leave you impressed with it’s nuanced flow and gripping energy.

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