In 2009, under the ominous portent of a gibbous moon, New York’s Sandess (Roman Cross) and Tampere’s Luxixul Sumering Auter (Cosmic Church) painted their faces, cast the bones, switched on the amps and invoked “the powers that be” to form a band infused with grim, occult insight. Following close on Asymmetry’s first release, A Strange Grease (2012), the band has added a dedicated bass player and brought forth a three-tracked demo, Ashes Into Wood.
Right off the bat, “Golden Page” drags you into the mucky pit with spindly fingers and lets loose an aural churn of viscous, doomy riffs. The drums are slouching, lagging even, but combined with the bass – oh, that ever-gluttonous bass – it conjures irresisitable hypnosis. Within seconds of entering “Alder and Birch” you snap out of the reverie cast by their Gorgonoid charms, as the double bass sputters and cymbals shatter. Majestic tremolo riffing, constantly underpinned by the bass, helps keep the composition organic and melodious. There are moments when the beautous and hideous cross paths, evoking the rich melancholy that is a Lurker favourite. Add a piercing banshee wail, which harrows and haunts the entirety of this production, and the gnarly juxtaposition is complete. The seven minutes of “Seven Years” stand as the consummation of what has come before.
Murky, umbral, clotted with devilry and as alchemical as its title – Ashes Into Wood proves that Asymmetry is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Thoroughly rooted in the dank underground and brimming with mythological references to the lauded Finnish epos “Kalevala” (the story of Ilmarinen, the blacksmith mage who forges a golden bride from the ashes of birch-wood as well as the giant Ika-turso’s cosmic green-thumb are both referenced within the track titles and text), this demo offers some of last years most scathing sounds.