Aaskereia is one of the few phenomenons that can bisect into two hardened fronts, at least according pagan black metal. There are various reasons, like the high pitched screams by their vocalist Grim, their choice which label should distribute their latest EP or the way of distributing their stuff in general. The later statement is worthy of discussion like never before because they just released their latest record kind of backhandedly and so it is no surprise that nearly nobody noticed it. We want to change this and so you are welcomned to read on if you want to know more about this piece of (pagan) black metal.
The start of the album is relatively harsh, as they begin with a cold riff, that is accompanied by the rest of the cast as soon as vocalist Grim gives the signal. The first thing to notice is the quite clear production, which could be compared to the one from Mit Raben und Wölfen, although there are some flaws according to it. But more to that later on.
While Grim is giving his best to utilize the whole spectrum of his voice, which ranges from clear, high pitched, screams to dark, incomprehensible growls, the range of variation according the instruments is way less. As quid pro quo Aaskereia uses a broad spectrum of instruments and so the sound could be considered as a bit to thick from time to time.
The most characteristic element of their sound is and will be the voice of Grim, which could not be belauded enough, because he is one of the very few vocalist utilizing their whole vocal range at such a great quality (one of the others would be Ecthelion from Andras). Another quite positive aspect is the magnificient and noticeable bass, although the bass and acoustic guitars are a bit contrary to the created atmosphere because of their warm sound.
The composition itself should be evaluated on two levels: The first one is within the songs and the second throughout the whole record. While the structure is quite elaborated in each song which prevents from boredom, there is a certain similarity between each song on the record which on the other hand extenuates the listening pleasure. Of course there are exceptions from the rule, like the title track which is accentuated by dark synthesizer sounds, or the instrumental Winter which also tries to countact. Another little flaw might be certain transitions which could be considered as way to long.
Although the production in general is solid, there are some flaws like the differences of loudness from song to song according each instrument and the vocals. Although this could be considered as a stilistic element it leads to an inaudibility at certain points because the instruments or vocals are to calm. As a matter of taste you could also criticise the sound of the guitars which is quite raw and therefore contrary to the rest of the cast.
Dort, wo das alte Böse ruht is a pleasurable record and therefore a really nice sign of live from Aaskereia. There are some genre typical flaws like the lack of variation on the whole length of the record or some problems according the production but in contrast there are quite good structures within the songs and the orchestration is really nice as well. The created atmosphere is varied and sometimes invites you to dream a little. The greatest point of biscetion will still be the vocals, because either you like or dislike them and except for those everyone should be able to enjoy this record. If you counterbalance everything positive and negative and consider the playing time of 54 minutes you should come to the conclusion that it is worth buying it.
Date of release: 18.02.2011