Ahasver – Causa Sui Review

Have you ever heard the story of Ahasver, an abandoned quasi-biblical figure who ignored Jesus somewhere down the line? Now he may roam immortally until the great man returns. That’s just a little petty if you ask me, but if you ask Ahasuerus, the story acts as a far more cruel parable – a man must walk the earth despite all the horrors he has experienced and which will one day unfold. But don’t worry, this isn’t a 90-minute rock opera, nor is it 60 bpm post-metal languishing. This pedigree of furious Frenchman (including Julien Deyres of gorod and Zubrowska fame) prefers pontification with solid grooves, textured vocal aggression and… a reading from Carl Sagan?

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Cause Suic stands a house emulsified by the inclusions of select genre powders, including groove, sludge, black and mathcore. Even against ill-advised shout-rap breaks ripped from the “Rob Flynn Book of Things He Invented” (“Fierce,” Dust”), or intensely thunderous blastbeat passages (“Peace,” “Wrath”), Ahasuerus leads with a strong sense of melody that keeps songs from feeling too scattered. In many ways, their cinematic yet short compositions remind me of a less expansive take on the ambitious sludge of The oceandown to the uncanny resemblance of the primary singer to the versatility and timbre of Loïc Rossetti. Ahasver - Causa Sui Review

To navigate their decidedly on-Lazy Susan of spinning sonic flavors, Ahasuerus cleverly uses startling switches to keep their groove train on track. Choppy rhythms and jingling melodies are the foundation of Cause Suic, so breaking the potential for monotony on tracks like “Tales” and “Wrath” with slow twists into blackened madness gives the record a lot of momentum. But machine gun drums on low-end heavy riffs can still be exhausting. Borrowing a trick from many progressive sludge acts, Ahasuerus many clean voices lay in choruses to provide space against the slowly compressing environment (“Wrath”, “Sand”). And when the tensions run high enough to burst, Ahasuerus reaches out for weird guitar sounds that owe as much to nu metal as they do Dillinger’s Escape Plan (“Peace”, “Dust”) – an eclectic crossing of threads that just works.

Ultimately, however, Cause Suic has a concept to prove, and Ahasuerus doesn’t hold the story tight from start to finish. For all the magnificence in promospeak surrounding the in-depth take Ahasuerus brings to Ahasver, the opening duo of tracks functions almost purely as an exposition with little emotional resonance. In fact, it’s only when we cross the middle with “Path” that the band inserts a sort of interpreted attachment to try to connect us with the character’s plight: “There’s no answer / There’s no reason for your search” echoes a structured chorus. But really, this unique shadow of disillusionment with a god and humanity that… Ahasuerus presents don’t force me much. Follow-up “Sands” takes us along the same beaten track and also functions as a sequel to the more comprehensive “King”. Not every band needs a huge end piece, but Ahasuerus yet they chose one, except they don’t approach it from a sweeping, musical perspective, but allow Carl Sagan to provide an extensive philosophical exploration that they couldn’t write themselves. I enjoy hearing the legendary astronomer’s cosmic musings, but here he just acts as a crutch for bad storytelling.

Ahasuerus harbors too much instrumental talent to bring to the table anything that isn’t at least somewhat stimulating, and for a few times I could work with what this debut had to offer: a well-quilted quilt of old metal trends presented in a neat, glossy packaging. Unfortunately, my job is to give you an insight beyond a cursory listening. Cause SuicIn that regard, this sprawling metal universe doesn’t offer a piece that pushes the boundaries of any genre, despite having quite a few called for to try. if Ahasuerus directed to roam and exist, much in the way of their namesake, they accomplished what they set out to do. If they had hoped for more, there is always a next time, and I will wait here. Hopefully not until the second coming, though.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Size Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Lifeforce Records | band camp
Websites: ahasverlfr.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/ahasverband
Will be released worldwide: September 16, 2022

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