ICHOR - Hadal Ascending

Ichor - Hadal Ascending

10 songs
42:49 minutes
***** ***
Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork


Four years after their last album Depths, extreme metal band Ichor from nearby Trier in Germany are back with their fourth longplayer Hadal Ascending. The passionate divers continue their deep-sea concept, even though the new albumís title is hinting at slowly emerging from the ocean.

Ichor still play brutal death metal with evil growls. The insertion of atypical elements allows the five guys to add the occasional atmospheric parts. Tales From The Depths, for which the band made a video clip, surprises with an accordion part in its final moments. Playing with different moods is one of the bandís major strengths. Black Incantation has an incredibly brutal start but ends in a more melodic way. Just the other way around is In Ecstasy which begins rather melodically but then becomes more and more rousing and emotional before it ends in an esoteric way. A Glowing In The Dark is flirting with black metal with some shrill parts before the song is shedding some of its speed. The alternation of emotions is used skilfully throughout the album before the biggest surprise comes with the concluding Conquering The Stars. The music is much more relaxed, the vocals are distorted and keyboards hint at an impending change. Probably this is a nod to the next album that may have its plot in outer space.

What I like the most about Hadal Ascending is that itís not just all about the heaviness. Of course there is a lot of brutality, but the atmospheric and emotional parts also play a major role. The same goes for the albumís pace which is alternating between high speed outbursts and more sedate parts. Hadal Ascending is a moody record which allows you to discover new elements whenever you listen to it. It is by far Ichorís most mature effort to date, and I am hoping that the band continue in that direction.

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