The Ember, The Ash – “Strychnine”
Perhaps you’re familiar with the one-man Canadian black metal project Unreqvited. If you’re not, then there’s plenty of room to dive in. As Unreqvited, a mysterious Ottawa man who goes only by the name 鬼 makes bleary, surging, grandly sad black metal — a vast and gorgeous and deeply insular sound. Last year, 鬼 released three Unreqvited albums — Mosaic II: La Détesse Et La Détresse, Disquiet, and Emphatica — as well as Nocturne, a split EP with the Japanese band Asunojokei. But 鬼 also has another musical project, and that one is really different.
鬼’s other one-man band is called The Ember, The Ash, and it embraces more of a metallic, seesawing post-hardcore sound. In 2019, The Ember, The Ash released the debut album Consciousness Torn From The Void, and it was essentially black metal with some metalcore leanings. Today, we’ve gotten the news that a new The Ember, The Ash album called Fixation is coming this spring, and its first single is a whole lot shorter and harder than anything I’ve yet heard from 鬼.
Fixation‘s first single and opening track is called “Strychnine,” and it’s a frantic, furious two-and-a-half-minute wallop with a screeching guitar riff and a growling fight-music energy. While most of 鬼’s music seems like an attempt to navigate a difficult inner landscape, “Strychnine” is the kind of discordant fight music that reminds me of prime Converge. It kicks ass, and you can hear it below.
Fixation is out 5/14 on Prosthetic.