When you think contemporary classical, you think of sweet orchestras following beautiful autumn paths or chilly mornings on a mountain. Don't go into this one expecting that. Alder & Ash redefine contemporary classical in Clutched In The Maw Of The World.
When I saw don't expect the beautiful imagery, that's not to say there is none. In fact, what makes Clutched In The Maw Of The World so significant is its imagery. Instead of the pretty scenes, though, Alder & Ash delivers some truly horrifying pictures. 'The Merciless Dusk' opens the record up with an uneasy sound, the chilling noises soon being contrasted by gorgeous yet dark cello. You truly feel an impending sense of falling through nothing, or standing in an open field as dark clouds loom overhead. Title track 'Clutched In The Maw Of The World' also lays down the doom aspect, grotesquely dark cellos growling as the song progresses.
Alder & Ash does experiment a bit, too. 'A Seat Amongst God and His Children' is more epically haunting than demonically haunting, utilizing the cello as percussion, its Eastern melodies giving you a daunting feeling as if you're descending into a haunted pyramid tomb. The song ends up croaking with a tortured distorted string sound taking over at the end. 'The Great Plains Of Dust' brings distorted sounds into focus immediately, the sound being a main component of the track. It's not all just doom, however; 'The Merciful Dawn' has a more curious and pretty sound to it to provide a sweeter and more gentle touch to the record.
Alder & Ash redefine contemporary classical in Clutched In The Maw Of The World, bringing in aspects of doom metal and performing them with deep, crushing cellos. It's more horrifying than some doom metal records in fact, leaving you feel like you're caught in a desolate space as everything around you just falls apart. That's the true capturing of what a doom album is about. Alder & Ash truly made something special.
Favorite Tracks: The Merciless Dusk, A Seat Amongst God and His Children
Least Favorite Track: Seeds Of A Sallow Earth
Rating: 78 / 100
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