This album makes me tense, anxious, and kind of angry. It is not an uncommon feeling with this type of noisy-USBM-meets-abrasive-hardcore sprinkled with atmospherics to make certain that you also become paranoid over some undefined feeling of impending doom. Yep, it is one of those Profound Lore releases that is not easily digested and leaves you with a mild case of heartburn, even as you catch yourself thinking about it hours later and end up listening to the damn thing again in an attempt to make sense of the intriguing racket.
So it's not USBM in an overt way; more in the sense of battling waves of dissonance so disruptive that you've given up praying for reprieve and end up shaking your first at God for allowing such an acidic creation to spread through the international underground. Really what we're speaking about is something along the lines of UNSANE meets THE HOWLING WIND in that the grit 'n gristle of the arrangements aren't so overwhelming that you cannot recognize what are some pretty good songs fighting right along through the dense forest and rocky footpaths. "Mounds of Ash" is neither without its lighter moments nor compositional grandeur with the slightest trinkets of melody. Clearly though, the emphasis is on constant reverberation and hate plowing that allows one to not only survive, but actually enjoy the rough rhythms and nifty six-string work.
Just in case you are into the whole sadomasochism thing, Colin Marston's production brings an extra layer of coarseness that you'll be unable to wash off with lye soap. "Mounds of Ash" pounds and slashes in a way that makes one believe the Brooklyn boys are suffering from deep emotional scars that can only be extirpated through the performance of punishment. Better hold on to that bottle of Vicodin.