Ashlands are a duo from Italy that has been featured before in this zine and on this recording plays a fantasy orientated form of atmospheric black metal and this is a review of their self released 2020 ep "Ashlands II" which will be released in September.
Acoustic guitar playing starts off the ep and also introduces elements of folk music onto the recording. When synths are utilized they also give the songs more of an atmospheric feeling while also mixing them and the folk elements into the heavier sections of the songs and the riffs also add in a great amount of melody.
When the music speeds up a great amount of blast beats and tremolo picking can be heard which also gives the songs more of a raw feeling. Vocals are mostly high pitched black metal screams along with the tracks also adding in a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts as well as the solos and leads also being done in a very melodic style, a couple of the tracks are instrumentals and the closing track is also very long and epic in length.
On this recording Ashlands remains true to the folk influenced style of atmospheric black metal that was established on their previous release. The production sounds very dark and raw while the lyrics are a concept album covering the travelers saga under the gentle rains of the Amber Marsh along with some influence from the writings of H.P Lovecraft.
in my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Ashlands and if you are a fan of folk influenced atmospheric black metal, you should check out this ep. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Mountain Augurs" and "Engraved in Black lava". 8 out of 10.