PICK OF THE WEEK: Aseethe’s dark, oppressive doom sludges in filth on grimy debut ‘Hopes of Failure’

Karlee Barr

Photo by Karlee Barr

A lot of people are feeling hopeless right now, like our very existence structure is coming down on us and weighing down on our chests until we suffocate. Or that’s at least how many Americans feel right now, and since we think we’re the center of the Earth, noting else could be so dire, right? Nonetheless, it’s a challenging time to be alive no matter where you exist, and that pressure doesn’t show any signs of letting up so we can fill our lungs.

Iowa-based doom trio Aseethe’s music contains a lot of those tenets. While they carry many of the trademarks of the sub-genre’s sound, they do so with thick pockets of drone, a heavy sense of funeral woe, and even a decent helping of strangeness that help make them stand out in the pack. The band’s new record “Hopes of Failure” feels like a fitting moniker to drape over these times, and it shows the group—bassist/vocalist Danny Barr, guitarist/vocalist/synth player/noise raiser Brian Barr, drummer Eric Diercks—in even darker terrain than on their monumental 2011 debut “Reverent Burden.” Over the years since that time, the band has released a few EPs, but they really honed in on what they are on the four songs heard here. These are mammoth, unforgiving journeys into madness, complete with clubbing power, vocals that sound like they’re raking at your wounds, and an unmistakable heaviness that feels like all of gravity caving in on you.

hopes-of-failure-coverThe record opens with 11:22 “Sever the Head,” which starts the devastation right away, with savage howls and slowly crawling doom starting the bruising. The growls switch to shrieks, as the pace continues to sludge along before the song goes clean. But that’s only a momentary leave, as the track picks up again in a calculating march, everything begins to churn harder, and the back end hits a burly swagger as the song gives way. “Towers of Dust” is a massive 8:32 instrumental that’s built on a strong foundation of riffs. The song gets heavier and more massive as it collects debris, with the playing sounding muddy and defiant, and a colossal bludgeoning ripping through the surface during the cut’s final minutes as everything blows off into dust.

“Barren Soil” is a generous 9:03 and unloads droning bass, pained growls, and crushing waves of doom. The song gets mean and nasty, grinding your flesh into the concrete, as the vocals sound furious and unhinged as they pelt down misery. From there, noise boils, tortured cries meet blood-curdling gurgles, and the end is gritty and toppling. The closer is the 13:53 epic “Into the Sun” that is burly and animalistic, with weird tones floating into the scene before the hammer is dropped hard. The song feels like a raging fire that, every time it calms, someone agitates it with a heaping serving of fuel. There also is a nice bit of atmosphere present in this track, though that eventually gets consumed by the miserable low end of the track. The song later goes into a chilling section, with strange, detached singing sprawling, before the ugliness returns. The final minutes have the band laying waste to whatever is in front of them with gut-wrenching chaos and blistering riffs that spill the final buckets of blood.

Aseethe’s earth-toppling “Hopes of Failure” is a cataclysmic high spot on doom’s early year, and it’s enough to bring everything down upon you. Mentally, it might already feel like that’s happening (it does to me), so this record can stand as a metallic example of that crumbling. Few bands come as heavy and calculated as Aseethe, and this record will cave in your chest.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/aseethecreation/

To buy the album, go here: https://www.thrilljockey.com/products

For more on the label, go here: https://www.thrilljockey.com/index