Ashen // Ritual Of Ash // Album Review


Australia-based four-piece Ashen will see the release of “Ritual of Ash”, a thick slice of dark HM2-inspired death metal.

“Ritual of Ash” is the follow-up to the band’s 2021’s 5-track mini album “Godless Oath”. “Ritual of Ash” is 10 tracks of blood-soaked riffs & dark & sadistic death!

“Ritual” the album’s opener can already show you the huge step up since the band’s release. A more tight, slightly more polished sound but still dripping with the over-distorted sound found within the classic Swedish sound. But here on “Ritual Of Ash” the band is adding some more elements.

Mixing the darker sounds of Decide & Morbid Angel with Dismember & Entombed style riffing makes for something very exciting & unique.

 A relentless assault that is “Harbinger” even has some more mellow moments which balances out perfectly with the more ferocious parts of the track making them even more punishing.

A slow but brutal “breakdown” section makes the end part of this track a headbanger.

“Cursed Rebirth” is where the big riffs are. Balls out, slightly death & roll this track is a fist pumper. Still incorporating some great tremolo riffing to create a track that is hooky & very memorable gives the listener a great halfway point anchor. Even adding some simple but effective background keyboards to elevate the track into the dark & atmospheric side.

The closing two tracks are for me the best on the record.

“Buried in Ice” is a simple but standout track that follows nicely. A more mid tempoed track but an all out rager. If you want something abit more in the vein of Unleashed this tracks for you!

The album closer “Inhuman” fits its title very well.

With a rock n roll swagger this track is a nice way to end the album. With some of the tightest performances from the entire band this track shows that their technical abilities have tripled since their last release & that they are tighter & more focused than ever. A real high note to leave the album & also a very brutal one!

“Ritual Of Ash” is a brilliant showcase of what Australian death metal has to offer. Ashen are already bringing the heat with this debut full length & with an album this diverse it will shoot them to the top of the underground scene!

Joseph Mitchell

Ritual Of Ash is released via Bitter Loss Records on 13th Jan 2023


01. Ritual

02. Deadsight

03. Harbinger

04. Threshold

05. Blood

06. Cursed Rebirth

07. Embrace Extinction

08. Gravemind

09. Buried in Ice

10. Inhuman

Line Up:

Richard Clements – Vocals

Shannon Over – Guitar

Ben Mazzarol – Drums

Josh Harris – Bass