One of this year's greatest joys was seeing Ashenspire finally get their due. From a review on The Needle Drop to the popularity which came with it and increasing interest in journalistic circles as well, the band have finally burst onto the stage they deserve. More than that; ever since Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandary, I've known this band was capable of great thing but, as good as that album really was, it felt like there was even more potential bubbling beneath the surface. Hostile Architecture has well and truly gone and tapped those submerged reserves, bringing a true addition the pantheon of British Isles based avant-garde black metal (and yes, there are enough bands which reside under this category to justify its existence).
It is, therefore, and with all facts above considered, that I am very happy and proud to be runing their guest list this year. Besides, what a impulsive, scattered, and brilliant list it is! From short expletives to slightly longer, but no less emotive, endorsements, this list meanders and stumbles through black metal, large scale pop, progressive metal, hardcore, and more, and more. Kind of like Hostile Architecture itself, it reads as a true and spontaneous outburst of passion. As well it should be!
Ashenspire 2022 musical highlights
Some of our favourite albums of the year (alphabetically)
Abest – Molten Husk
Getting to see this every night on tour was such a blessing. Heavy, snarling, and totally cohesive as a musical unit. Some of the finest heavy music to be released this year, and I hope it continues to draw the attention it more than deserves.
Animals as Leaders – Parrhesia
“fuckin sick” – Fraser
Bad Breeding – Human Capital
Beyonce – Rennaissance
Birds in Row – Gris Klein
A staggeringly beautiful album, thrumming with energy. What a purposeful, definitive statement of an album. I’m desperate to see these guys play again, the material from Gris Klein is easily Birds in Row’s strongest yet.
Elder – Innate Passage
Gospel – The Loser
I didn’t know these guys until 2022, but nobody has danced this dance so deftly since the 70s. King Crimson and ELP all over, and to fuse it with emo in this way is a pure genius move.
Hällas - Isle of Wisdom
Joan Shelley - The Spur
Doldrum – The Knocking, or The Story of the Sound that Preceded their Disappearance
Riffs, Riffs, and more goddamn riffs. The snare sound. The vocal delivery. ARE YOU A MAN WHO KNOCKS? JT aff twitter throwing shapes. Outstandingly good fun.
- Liturgy performing H.A.Q.Q. in full
- Midwife’s performance at Roadburn