Ichor – Hadal Ascending

Band: Ichor
Title: Hadal Ascending
Labels: Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork
Release date: 7 December 2018
Country: Germany
Format reviewed: High Quality Digital Promo

I was quite intrigued to do another Ichor review, this time Germany’s Ichor. “Hadal Ascending” is the fourth full-lenghth album of the death metallers. The album continues the line which the band started with their previous two albums “Benthic Horizon” and “Depths”, and this time the story goes to “a devastated and hate-filled deep-sea world full of creatures and mystical beings continues: Human warriors reached the hadal – level in the deep sea and fight a bitter war against gorgons and creatures of the depths. To implore transcendent energies, rituals are held during the slaughter. The demon “Zaan” wakes and feeds on the blood of the warriors. He opens the portal to other worlds and as leader of gorgons and creatures, he leads them through the portal into the empire of stars and planets”. WOW! Conceptual death metal album for the undersea battles and monstrous creatures! That sounded very intriguing!

Maybe in the very beginning I must mention that the album was recorded, mixed and mastered in in Hertz Studio Poland, know for its productions for Behemoth, Hate, Decapitated and Vader. That’s why “Hadal Ascending” has some of the DNA sound of the above mentioned bands and their works. It is also worth mentioning that the cover artwork was painted by Par Olofsson who worked for the likes of Aborted, The Faceless, Immortal.

From other hand though the album represents punching death metal effort, with big dynamic variety and guitars smashing rhythm riffs and melodies (courtesy of Daniel and Jo) – which can be heard in the titans of the US death metal (Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation). The lovers of blast beats and double bass drums patterns (performed by Dirk) will find a lot of here as well. And from other side, few typical for the deathcore breaks were spotted as well. (The Black Dahlia Murder, Thy Art Is Murder). The vocals of Eric deliver fierce apocalypse under the hammering bass lines of Norb, making the record very angry actually. 

The album easily can be described as attention-to-detail-work in all aspects – performance, compositions, production, a technicality. The ten songs, lasting for 43 minutes, deliver destructive power and domination. However, having said all that, I felt the lack of a heart in the record, missed a bit more flame to spark me inside. The album’s atmosphere is unique, it comes as one whole piece, and being on the search of perfection in every aspect, the album becomes a bit sterile, with a bit repetitive coldness and approach.

At the end of the day “Hadal Ascending” is a dark sound from the deep sea. It gives what the band is striving for – evoking the depths and the end of all existence. I would recommend Germany’s Ichor and their brand new record all death metal lovers. Check the album and find your hadal deep-sea monsters for yourselves. I guess you won’t be able to fight them though. They will smash you and consume you alive. 7.5/10 Count Vlad

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7.5/10 Victory is possible
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