Label: Profound Lore Records
There’s good reason that Ash Borer are one of the most respected names in underground USBM. Since their first demo in 2010, the band have consistently pushed at the boundaries of what atmospheric black metal can be and achieve, whilst also keeping true to its spirit and sound. 2016’s The Irrespassable Gate is a prime example of this, being a journey of Weakling-esque atmospheric black metal that, like that mighty band, feels completely soul-consuming and transcendent when it hits its stride.
Also like Weakling, The Irrepassable Gate can sometimes feel like it’s taking a bit too long to get to where it’s going. This is a difficult thing to avoid when the main songs are all at least 9 and a half minutes long – sometimes, the movements can feel repetitive rather than inducing the trance-like hypnosis they are aiming for. But when it does connect, and reaches the heights it frequently does, The Irrepassable Gate is the kind of album that will make you look at much of your collection and think, “why do I waste my time on other albums?” It is the kind of music that can take over your life, feeling incredibly profound without ever giving all of its secrets away – an album that could change your life, but you’re never entirely sure how.