Consisting of Obscura (guitars, vocals) and A. Morthaemer (drums) Asagraum managed to get appraisal from critics and fans within the genre. Aided by fellow female musicians on stage they managed to quite a following in very little time. One could argue whether it is hype or not, since the band consists of only women, which makes them quite unique in the (Black) Metal scene, but it’s the well thought out concept, solid song writing and very enjoyable tracks that kept me interested. And why shouldn’t Asagraum use this unique sales point in order to gain attention? When you hear the quality of the songs and see how many live performances were done, Asagraum certainly deserves time in the spotlight spreading their gospel.
It took more than four years but finally Asagraum is ready to unleash a new occult concoction upon mankind. Well…they have released “Rituals in the dark Temple” this year but that concerns a live ritual. Although my colleague wasn’t so impressed with “Dawn of Infinite Fire” I really enjoy the hypnotic riffs and occult drive displayed. So, let’s hope that “Veil of Death, Ruptured” follows the same direction.
And it does. Consisting of eight tracks Asagraum shows they are a band that have developed their signature style, they are in good form and present excellent songwriting and atmosphere. “Veil of Death, Ruptured” has a playtime of roughly thirty-six minutes. In my opinion that is a minus because this album could have easily added ten minutes. The third track “Opus ad Errantem” and seventh track “Opus ad Aeternum” can be seen as interludes. And although these songs manage to set the right atmosphere this means that there six songs left to endure.
Endure isn’t the right word because I really enjoyed this album. Opener “Ingnatum Purificat Lilitu” immediately starts without any intro and shows what Asagraum can do like no other, namely: crafting atmospheric tracks with a superb occult, satanic and at times even psychedelic atmosphere.
You can really hear that Obsucra and Morthaemer make a well-oiled machine that can combine atmosphere without forgetting a well needed dose of aggression. “Fearless Dominion” is highly enjoyable with great riffs. Just listen to the middle section of this song and the tight drum patterns. Although Asagraum shows quite some ferocity on this track the atmosphere makes me drift away in another realm were darkness shows his splendour. “De Verloren Tijd”, which means ‘lost time’, contains interesting Dutch lyrics. But the slow, meandering, and hypnotising guitar parts, clean vocals, and sudden aggressive outbursts makes this one of the most interesting songs of this album.
You might have already heard “Impure Fire” since it has already been released as a single. And I understand why: it simply is a great song. Ferocious at the beginning and manages to have enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. The title track “Veil of Death, Ruptured” are together with “De Verloren Tijd” (lost time) and last track “De Waanzin Roept Mijn Naam” (madness calls my name) the best tracks on this album. It shows pure craftsmanship and creates the unique ambiance only this band can.
If I must make one remark besides the duration of this album it concerns the ending “Veil of Death, Ruptured”. While being a great song the ending, a fading guitar and drumming could have been better. It just doesn’t fit this song and pulls me out of the dark world so carefully created. Luckily, “Opus ad Aeternum” pulls me right back in with its dreamlike ambiance. It sets the tune for closing track “De Waanzin Roept Mijn Naam” which is a fierce, powerful, and haunting track and combines everything I admire of Asagraum.
Aided by a great production and mixing “Veil of Death, Ruptured” shows that Asagraum’s third offspring is really entertaining and a well though-out album. I have already listened this album countless time and it never gets boring and is a well succeeded musical escape from reality, and that’s what music should be (in some cases): an escape. With this album these two ladies show that they are on top of their game. Buy this album and support the underground! And if Asagraum is planning to give a show in your area: clear all your appointments and be there!
Score: 8,1 / 10
Label: Edged Circle Productions
Release Date: 20 October 2023
01.Ignem Purificat Lilitu
03. Opus ad Errantem
04. De Verloren Tijd
05. Impure Fire
06. Veil Of Death, Ruptured
07. Opus ad Aeternum
08. De Waanzin Roept Mijn Naam