From the first seconds of The Evening Redness, you wouldn’t be negligent in assuming that Milwaukee’s Lotus Ash have spent some time worshiping at the altar of Om. The prelude opener of “Man’s Purpose: War” kicks things off with a mystifying, monolithic chant and burly walls of wooly distorted guitars. The percolating tom work comes to full boil as things culminate in the second part of the opening duo, “But War Is God,” resembling tar in the kettle – hefty and dense, with gurgling throaty tones that parallel the vocal introduction. The organic qualities to their tone hint and anchor them to a post-metal classification, while other shades within it tell of their penchant for the doomier side of the spectrum.
Carried primarily by the impressive mass and brute muscularity of their tone (seriously, turn this one up and tickle those eardrums), Lotus Ash have foregone the vocals featured on their prior record (which were quite good) without losing momentum. As an instrumental act, they fall somewhere between the grittiest Russian Circles and a voiceless, electronics-stripped Batillus. That being said, there aren’t any breakneck boosts in tempo to be found across this record as these dudes like to keep things slow an’ low, but there are a number of delectable moments where they meander into some kind of delightfully perverted downtempo noise rock (see: “Unto Stone” and “Breadth of the Horizon”), bringing some welcome angles to a style that can get a bit lackadaisical and heady for some.
Lotus Ash’s trademark is ultimately their doomy and gruff spin on standard post-metal fare. The Evening Redness isn’t a delicate post-metal record, but it’s not quite instrumental doom in the vein of Möbius. Yeah, there’s some slinky guitar effects to be found here and there, funereal touches of organ that shine through as things wind down, and plenty of spacious moments where things get subdued and quiet. But the majority of the album’s patient 45-minute runtime is spent under pitiless rhythms, crushing volume, and lanky riffs that will find crossover appeal to the more traditional-leaning Sabbath worshippers and post-metalheads alike. Essentially, The Evening Redness is about as ideal of an entry point as there can be to point you toward the other end of the scale.
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