In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that I consider The Ash Eaters mastermind UA a friend. We’ve developed a correspondence that if memory serves goes back to a review I wrote of his previous project Brown Jenkins’ swan song, Death Obsession, for the now-defunct Sonic Frontiers site.
Even if we weren’t pen pals, I’d still be a fan of his music, especially his guitar playing. UA’s guitars are alive. They swarm and sing like a horde of locusts. They’re somehow melodic and dissonant at the same time, heavy and brittle and biting and hazy. His music, although certainly blackened, isn’t black metal, per se… it brings to mind visions of Varg Vikernes pistol-whipping Robert Smith and Daniel Ash in an abandoned cellar while Geordie Walker chain-smokes in the corner. This is manic music with a bizarre pop sensibility. It sticks to your ribs as it attempts to shatter them.
Cold Hearts is the inaugural demo from The Ash Eaters. It is three songs, twenty-five odd minutes of instrumental delerium. Although I miss UA’s Cthulhu-with-black-lung vocals from the Brown Jenkins era, his guitar-work and songwriting are compelling enough on their own. If you’re familiar with Death Obsession, you’ll recognize Cold Hearts as similar, yet taken many steps forward from both a playing and compositional perspective.
I could go on, but I’d rather let you hear the music for yourselves. You can listen to and download the Cold Hearts demo for free from The Ash Eaters bandcamp page HERE. Or download it for free via mediafire HERE.