Aosoth Ashes of Angels

With Antaeus being on hold, singer MkM's side-project, Aosoth, are able to flourish. Ashes of Angels is the follow-up to Aosoth's 2008 self-titled debut. While remaining categorically black metal in all the essentials, Ashes of Angels also takes cues from early '90s death metal. The result is an album laced with a hate-filled, malevolent atmosphere, a hypnotic haze of discordant, eerie riffs. It's so discordant that it's actually physically unsettling, which is quite a feat. Despite the prevailing dissonant mood lingering in the listener's mind like a damp fog, the songs aren't always memorable or distinguishable from one another; Ashes of Angels tends to play out as one long entity rather than ten independent songs. Whether or not this was intentional is difficult to say, but this blending together quality somewhat negates the individuality of the pieces. Still, it's a purchase-worthy release for those wanting a genuinely creepy black metal album. (Agonia)