Ashenspire is an experimental metal group formed in 2013 as a means of exploring the contradictions inherent in a contemporary capitalist world, tracing its roots from the empire- building of prior centuries to the neoliberal project of the modern world. The group presents challenging and abrasive musical textures (making use of sprechgesang, violin and saxophone extended techniques) in a progressive, post-black metal framework alongside incisive political critique of the historical basis and current state of postmodern life. They debuted in 2017 on Code666 records with Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandary, a critique of British Imperialism. In support of this they have performed with contemporaries A Forest of Stars, Ash Borer, Vampillia, Vulture Industries and CODE, amongst others. Its follow-up, the critically-acclaimed Hostile Architecture, was released in July 2022 and has featured on a great number of critics’ albums of the year lists. They have since toured in Germany and are due to make a number of European touring and festival appearances in 2023, including Denmark and the Netherlands.
Hostile Architecture (recorded 2020) is presented in the context of fascism’s return to mainstream politics, the widening of the inconceivably vast wealth gap between capitalists and the working class, and growing alienation between one another as subjects. A far more explicit and direct message of anticapitalism and embracing of socialist and anarchist principles, it is a demanding listen; taking as much influence from the harsh, angular textures of Altar of Plagues’ Teethed Glory and Injury as Colin Stetson’s hypnotic saxophone and Ed Scissor/Lamplighter’s bleak noir-hop soundscapes, the album sees Ashenspire leaning further into Avant-garde jazz tendencies and metallic dissonance, all while channelling the intensity and energy of hardcore in an overwhelming, deeply emotional burst of political rage.