Ayr - The Dark (2020)


Oozing melancholy and brutality, today we have Ayr and their debut full-length release “The Dark”. After a several year hiatus, this band returns with a furious and well balanced release filled with eerie atmospherics and ravaging harshness. Clocking in at nearly 40 minutes, this album has a vibe similar to Abigail Williams and similar North American acts that are bending the boundaries of Black Metal.

After the mysterious opener “Lion’s Blood”, the album title track delivers the first onslaught of blistering drumming, hellish screams, and incisive guitar riffs. The core of the music is quite old-school Black Metal which is both visceral and yet melodic at times. The band magically transitions from weeping melody into atmospheric eeriness as “Worship the Dark” provides a very creepy vibe.

The band’s harsher side returns with the hypnotic “Swallowed” and its piercing guitars. Evoking some Mortualia influences, this track slowly grows into more melodic and ravaging territories as ripping guitar leads and oppressive atmospherics take center stage. This track is definitely one of the best combinations of melancholy and brutality we have heard in 2020.

Saving the best for last, “Sever the Golden Chain” is a piercing piece that delivers hectic drumming onslaughts and furious guitars, perfectly layered under Rick Contes demoralizing harsh screams. While some might be attracted to the band’s ravaging brutality, it is the mixture of atmospheric elements and melancholy that makes them stand out from the rest. If you like both brutality and melody, this is definitely one of the hidden gems you should find.

Band: Ayr Album: The Dark

Label: The Hell Command

Release: July 24th, 2020

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: USA

Rating: 93/100

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