Ashtar – Kaikuja
Translated from Finnish as “Echoes,” Kaikuja is aptly titled, for its dense-yet-spacious soundwalls bear a rich ‘n’ reverberating strength. Trace elements of black metal and doom exist once again, but are further spliced with the DNA of drone, sludge, and even post-rock, making for a heady (and HEAVY) brew that’s seemingly served up with ease by ASHTAR. And even more so than the debut, for a band that’s “merely” a duo, these five epic-length songs emit an almost-impossible density, bewitchingly revealing new layers with each listen. And at nearly 40 minutes, the landscape ASHTAR paint here is far more vast than that compact runtime suggests. Open your ears and receive the resounding echoes of ASHTAR’s Kaikuja!