Hidden Gems: Asira – Efference (2017)
Genre: Post-metal / black metal / dream rock
Release date: 7th April, 2017
Record label: (Self-released)
For fans of: Emperor, Leprous, TesseracT
Efference, the upcoming debut album by British post-metallers Asira, is a sonic experience so rich and all-encompassing that it is honestly difficult to know where to begin when analysing it. Because, quite simply, it’s a record that does nothing but contradict itself.
Acting as a bridge between the seemingly incompatible styles of ethereal dream rock and despondent black metal, Efference simultaneously displays both beautiful and destructive tendencies, at times being entirely ambient and uplifting, and then, seconds later, devolving into anarchic darkness in a sudden twist strong enough to make the head spin.
A massive part of Asira’s addictive postmodernism can be attributed to the dual work of Ethan Bishop and Martin Williams on guitar as well as Williams’ charismatic work on the mic, which he shares with fellow vocal virtuoso Jack Reynolds. What both the guitars and the singing have in common on this record is a masterful hard–soft dichotomy. The wailing screams that echo throughout Efference draw forth memories of Ihsahn’s higher-pitched register in Emperor while the cleans channel the likes of Chino Moreno and Eric Emery.
And the riffs are similarly dynamic, usually powering forth in one of three modes: acoustic tranquillity, clean electric ambience and distorted, quick, chord-driven brutality.
This is as experimental as black metal could ever hope to be, blending extreme music’s most abrasive and terrifying genre with elements of mainstream rock, prog, pop and even the blues. With heavy metal usually being such a dark and petulant affair, Efference has earned its colourful, delightful imagery and will doubtlessly bring the up-and-coming Asira to amazing heights in the near-future.
Efference will be available physically and digitally on 7th April.