EhnahreThis is the fifth album from Ehnahre, an experimental doom band from the US.

This is a hefty and ambitious experimental doom release. It has a basis in metal, but frequently incorporates non-metal elements into the music, to great effect.

The songs are expansive, sprawling, and cinematic in scope. Start with experimental drone. Then, think of a piece of classical music, wrapped in the garb of dissonant, twisted metal, and filtered through a jazz, avant-garde, chamber music, post-rock bedrock. Doom and black metal elements provide some additional kick and weight, while classical and other elements provide nuance, subtlety, and texture. Then, imagine all of this warped and mutated into something dark, malignant, and unfriendly.

The music is adventurous and bold, striding confidently out into the world with nary a consideration for the normal state of things. This is much to the listener’s benefit, as these unconventional compositions are worth taking the time to explore and learn. Ehnahre create atmospheric and absorbing music the likes of which is not usually encountered in your average band, no matter what their style.

There are a lot of contrasting elements and juxtapositions across this record, and it’s not all as calm and serene as the album cover might lead you to believe. This may be a release that has a lot of avant-garde, experimental, and classical elements, but it also has a lot of metal ones too, and the contribution to the music that the doom and black metal influences make shouldn’t be discounted.

Running the gamut from soft and light to hard and heavy, this album explores everything from harsh brutality to introverted introspection, and covers a lot of ground in between. Frequently the album displays a kind of unsettling beauty, with the band channelling a special kind of resplendence, one that seems to have a core of corruption and malevolence.

This is all melted and mangled together, of course, and is not as disparate sounding as you might be led to believe from my description so far. The songs are essentially free-flowing masses of scarred horrorscapes; the music is bleak and dark, and not for those uninitiated in the realms of underground experimental terror.

Think of your favourite doom/post-metal band, draw them out and elongate them through days of endless torture, force them to experiment on themselves as they undergo a harrowing metamorphosis, and then inject them with black metal nightmares. This is the sound of Ehnahre.

Building atmosphere and mood with droning ease and insidious charm, The Marrow is a compelling and finely-realised piece of grim work. If you’re a fan of atypical, non-standard music and aren’t afraid of having your preconceived notions of what makes engaging heavy music challenged, then this is definitely one for you.

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