Ahamkara – The Embers of the Stars

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Nordvis
Distributor/label URL: http://www.nordvis.com/
Released: March 2014
Buy Album [URL]:
http://www.nordvis.com/store/nordvis-m-1/ahamkara-the-embers-of-the-stars-digicd-pre-order-p-265
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/theembersofthestars

Ahamkara2Band line-up:

Michael Blenkarn – Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Steve Black – Vocals

Tracklisting:

1. Midwinter’s Hymn
2. On the Shores of Defeat
3. Lamentation of a Wraith
4. To Invoke the Stars Themselves



Review

Newcastle may be the last place you’d expect black metal to have such a strong connection, but did you know it’s where Venom come from? You probably do – but more importantly it’s where new atmospheric duo Ahamkara are from and they have delivered some of the most impressive atmospheric black metal I’ve heard for a while. It is for this reason I have decided to affectionately dub these guys ‘The Geordie Summoning’.

And even though they don’t state Summoning as one of their main influences, Ahamkara’s debut album THE EMBERS OF THE STARS certainly rivals the German atmospheric group with all the right uses of tremolo picking, keyboards, vocals that are best described as a ‘melodic Marduk’.

Opening track ‘Midwinter’s Hymn,’ just screams winter in your face with the frostbitten winds personified by the beautifully arranged guitars that are similar to Burzum’s mid-period and ‘On The Shores of Defeat’ gives us a gallop of black metal that is similar to Summoning and Acherontas.

This for me is how you build a nice take on atmospheric black metal, by including the raw and aggressive foundations of good drumming and guitars and anger laden vocals. ‘Lamentation of a Wraith’ is something you’ll enjoy late at night when you’re thinking about the witching hour or whatever evil might be treading across middle earth if Tolkien had written more fables.

Overall we have one truly ambitious first album. These guys have set their aims high and have certainly met them with the excellent instrumentation and they have made the extra long song lengths work in their favour. Well done Ahamkara, you’re putting Newcastle on the black metal map again.

Review by Demitri Levantis
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