A veritable smorgasbord of sub genres are on offer if you decide to dip into this Italian duo’s debut EP. Combining Black Metal vocals, Folk Metal of the more comedy variety, flutes, xylophones, and a partridge in a pear tree, “Ashlands I” is a plucky little underdog of a release. The production is average, the song writing decent but unspectacular. Yet from the outset there is a sense of fun to be had here and not at the band’s expense. Loaded with wandering guitar solos, this has little to do with Black Metal (Which it is billed as) and more to do with showing off some technical chops just for the fun of it.
If i were to look at “Ashlands I” with my super serious reviewing hat on, I’d slate it. Sub-standard in almost every way. Yet I find myself rooting for Ashlands for the sheer effort they have put in and for the fact that they have dared to put out something a little quirky and a little different. There are some interesting little Opeth-esque interludes, more guitar solos, some more folk style meandering and oh, did I mention the guitar solos? Give this one a listen, it won’t top anyones best of lists but it’ll put a smile on your face. (Heathen of the Horde)