Band – Golden Ashes
Album – In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night
Country of Origin – The Netherlands
Genre – Atmospheric Black Metal
Release Date – May 1, 2020
Label – Independent
Author – Cody Ward
I’ve spoken before about my appreciation for Maurice De Jong. If you’re not familiar with that name, he is the main brain behind the bands GNAW THEIR TONGUES, MYSTAGOGUE, DODENBEZWEERDER and HAGETISSE just to name a few. I mean, one glance at his credits on Metal Archives will show you what I mean. Among all of his projects though, GOLDEN ASHES is a ray of shining, illustrious light among such bleakness that is so common in black metal.
December 22, 2018 brought about the first EP from GOLDEN ASHES entitled “The Desolation”. Upon starting the first track “Dreamers In The Mouth of Hell” (what an awesome title huh?), we are instantly lead into a very dream-like state of ambiance that differs from every other Morries project out there. When we get to the meat of the EP, you realize that this project is a unique blend of symphonics, atmospheric black metal and sometimes rather hypnotic elements of drone.
Fast forward to May 10, 2019 and Maurice has released the first full length of GOLDEN ASHES entitled “Gold Are The Ashes of The Restorer”, which is composed of eight tracks spanning just over thirty-five minutes. This full length continued the ambient factor that was introduced in the first EP but applied it more directly to the symphonic elements of the music, layered quite heavily over the black metal undertone. That’s not to say that this is not a black metal album, because it most certainly is, but as the record goes on you really get the sense that steam and pressure are building with this project. Later that year, on December 6, 2019, Maurice put out another short EP titled “The Golden Path of Death Acceptance” which, in his words, was “A prelude to the upcoming second full length of GOLDEN ASHES” and you truly can tell that pressure was, in fact, building. One noticeable improvement is the quality of the drums and guitar, definitely more prominent than in previous releases. My excitement for the mentioned full length has grown.
Alas we come to May 1, 2020 and the highly anticipated second full length album is released, entitled “In The Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night”. Amidst all of the turmoil that this year has brought, Maurice once again shines that illustrious light upon us. This album starts off with a blast of drums and keyboards creating a definite airy feeling that the keys definitely bring forward in front of everything. This pace is kept up for the most part throughout the song, and the progression continues moving forward. As if almost in contradiction, the second track takes that airy atmosphere that we hear before, and turns it into an almost panic inducing feeling. At least that’s how I feel listening, and I absolutely LOVE IT! The keyboards and symphonic elements are what really drive this project and they’re done so very well. I often find myself humming the keyboard parts more than anything because that’s where the melody of GOLDEN ASHES lies. Another noticeable improvement here is once again the drums. Not just a noisy, blast beat laden undertone of the music, it really coincides with the keys in a very nuanced way that delivers the real gold here. “In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night” clocks in at just under thirty-six minutes with each and every second of the journey being an absolute wonder of joy to behold. I can’t say what is to become of GOLDEN ASHES, but I do hope that Maurice will continue to release albums for a long time. They never grow stale. 9/10.
Standout Tracks: As Sacred Bodies Wither Into Nothingness; Let Death Stalk My Enemies, Let The Grave Swallow Them Alive; Amongst The Mossy Tombs; Black Tongue Mouths Murmur Black Prayers.
I would also like to take a moment to extend my gratitude to Maurice De Jong for the opportunity to review this album.
Biography: Father, Husband, Black Metal…. That is all.