'The White Death' EP
(Ceol Dorchas Productions)
Scottish quartet Achren are pioneers in the 'Blood Metal' scene (essentially a mix of Black and Thrash Metal) who are slowly but surely making a name for themselves with the help of appearances at major festivals like Bloodstock Open Air and Wacken. Their latest release is this three track EP and shows that the band still have lots to offer.
'The White Death' of the title refers to Finnish marksman Simo Häyhä who (as history buffs will tell you), acquired the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills in any major war – a total of five hundred and five. Totalling around fifteen minutes, these three songs show various different sides to Achren giving a 'something for everyone' approach their music.
'Archangel' starts things off and it demonstrates the bands intent from the off, with solid drums from stand in drummer Qball (more usually found behind the drum stool of CoExist and Bacchus Barachas, as now permanent drummer Ryan Shepherd wasn't in place at the time of recording) backed up with a great guitar riff from vocalist and rhythm guitarist Scott Anderson.
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The pace builds as the song progresses, settling down just in time for the vocal lines to kick in. Anderson's vocals are very good it must be said, and he gives everything to his performance with a growl at the end thrown in for good measure.
'The Eschatologist' (someone who is concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind – just to save you looking that up!) is slightly slower paced than 'Archangel', as well as being the longest of the here clocking in at just under six minutes.
There's a great central guitar riff under which the drums and bass guitar are laid with Anderson giving another excellent performance on what is my favourite of the three tracks featured. The long instrumental section in the middle and towards the end is driven by Qball who doesn't let up at all as he creates a solid foundation of the song and leads the way for the rest of the band.
The final track is 'Suomen Susi (The Finnish Wolf)', which is the slowest track here with its epic guitar intro over which are placed simple drums beats and cymbal crashes. The slow rhythm guitar riff gradually creeps in as the song progresses, and that's the thing about this song.
It shows that Black/Thrash Metal bands don't always play at break neck speeds and when they do so, their musical talent is so great that it's often overlooked by those who don't really "get it".
Here, you're a full three minutes into the track before the pace begins to pick up and when it does, it takes the song to a whole new level as the tempo builds and builds making this a truly outstanding song and a credit to the band.
You can hear the track 'The Eschatologist' here:
You can see Achren live here:
Saturday 28th June – The Hairy Dog, Derby
Friday 22nd August – Beermageddon 2014, Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club
'The White Death' Track list:
Suomen Susi (The Finnish Wolf)
Scott Anderson – Vocals/Guitars
Callum Kirk – Guitars
John Clark Paterson – Bass Guitar
Ryan Shepherd – Drums
Official Website: http://www.achren.com