Since 2011, The Ash Eaters have been releasing a steady stream of demo tracks, EPs and cover songs. The band continuously evolves with each new endeavor; guitarist/vocalist/evil genius Umesh Amtey is seemingly always refining and tweaking his approach, while at the same time expanding upon it in order to explore even darker, more twisted musical vistas. At this point my friendship with Mr. Amtey is well documented; it has been a joy to share in his excitement as the project has grown from the embryo that was last year’s Cold Hearts demo to the full-grown beasts of The Cruel Side EP and now the mesmerizing Ibn Ghazi EP.
Consisting of two largely instrumental tracks that clock in around twelve minutes total, Ibn Ghazi is a totally immersive experience in spite of its relatively short playing time. The fact that The Ash Eaters are able to achieve this kind of hypnosis is a testament to Amtey’s skill as a guitarist and composer, and I’m not just saying that because I’m thanked in the liner notes. The music here creates that swirling “trance out” effect which recalls the likes of Filosofem or Transilvanian Hunger, but whereas those albums relied on repetition to achieve a kind of musical stasis within the riffs, Amtey’s music is always going somewhere, pushing towards something (oblivion?). The atmosphere is difficult to describe, part Burzum-style buzz, part The Cure (back when they were good) or maybe even Lycia, bridging the gap between black metal and gothic rock/darkwave.
Until Herr Amtey destroys us all with an Ash Eaters full length, there is a wealth of compelling music for listeners to sift through and Ibn Ghazi is the most fully realized of these recordings. The EP is available for free over at The Ash Eaters bandcamp page, along with the rest of the band’s stellar discography up to this point. You can stream the two tracks below.