Interview: THE ASH EATERS

I must admit, I was late to the party on Brown Jenkins; I didn’t hear them until the inimitable Nathan T. Birk sent me a copy of Death Obsession while he was doing PR work for the once prominent black metal label Moribund Cult. I fell instantly in love with the band’s spellbinding attack, which blended elements of black metal, doom and gothic rock with an appropriately Lovecraftian sense of dread and crumbling sanity. I gave the album a glowing review for the now-defunct Sonic Frontiers(dot)net and subsequently came into contact with band mastermind Umesh Amtey. That correspondence blossomed into a friendship that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying for several years now; although Amtey and I have never met in person, I consider him a close comrade and look forward to the day when we can raise our glasses together in the same room.

As a result of our friendship, I’ve had the distinct privilege of watching the next phase of Amtey’s musical journey come into being. The Ash Eaters shares some traits with Brown Jenkins, but is an all together different beast. The guitar-work is more complex, the arrangements are more frantic, attacking the listener from every direction, while at the same time remaining catchy and memorable; Amtey has drawn from a wide range of influences and pushed them forward in every way imaginable.

I’ve been waiting for my chance to interview Mr. Amtey, so when he finally gave Ruining You, the debut Ash Eaters full length, to the world after a string of shorter releases, I knew the time had finally come. While I’ve had many private conversations with him regarding his musical history, motivations, influences, etc, I wanted to afford my readers the same opportunity to learn more about this truly unique individual and the excellent music he’s been releasing over the past several years. I contacted Mr. Amtey via e-mail for the following interrogation.

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New music from The Ash Eaters.

The Ash Eaters have released a new two track digital EP, The Cruel Side via their bandcamp page.  For those not familiar, the band is the new project of former Brown Jenkins mastermind, Umesh Amtey.  Amtey is probably one of the most underrated guitarists in metal, his playing a schizophrenic locust swarm that attacks from all sides and encompasses elements of black metal, doom, gothic rock and beyond.  But as abrasive as this material may appear on the surface, it is also strangely catchy, the sheets of insectoid distortion burrowing deep into the inner recesses of your mind.  I’m listening to the EP for the first time as I type this; I’m already eager to listen further.  Amtey doesn’t just write songs, he creates musical labyrinths for the ears to explore.

Those of you familiar with The Ash Eaters’ Cold Hearts demo (also available via bandcamp), will instantly notice a distinct progression in playing and composition (as well as the return of Amtey’s Cthulu-esque vocal assault); indeed, the beautiful thing about this music is that it is constantly progressing, changing, morphing into something beyond the confines of extreme music.

I could say a lot more, but I’d rather let the music do the talking.  Go grab this now!

http://theasheaters.bandcamp.com/album/the-cruel-side-ep

I’d also highly recommend stopping by The Ash Eaters’ blog to download their cover versions of the Misfits’s “Angelfuck” and “Death Comes Ripping.”

http://theasheaters.blogspot.com