Hopes of Failure

Iowa City depression sludge fuckers Aseethe make Grief look like a party band.  That’s not to say that their abilities are quite up to the feral hope rape of bands like Noothgrush, Grief, Burning Witch, Toadliquor, Dystopia, Wellington, etc., just yet but with their latest full-length gruel platter Hopes of Failure they are registering as a Giant Behemoth sized blip on my sonar.  These sickos have a slew of releases and the funeral procession, hearse wrecking dirge to be found on Hopes of Failure ain’t fuckin’ around.  It might be MUCH too slovenly and miserable for those that like their doom all about the groove but there are subtle dynamics happening here to keep you following along.

A cavernous, terraforming dirge sends opener “Sever the Head” on a way one ticket to Hell’s Kitchen (and I ain’t talkin’ Jersey).  Riffs aren’t so much power chord slaughter as they are the sounds of buildings falling and crushing thousands of humans in their wake.  Drummer E. Diercks’ playing is a Mesozoic tarpit drowning of locked on snares, heart-attack inducing kick drums and the equivalent of King Kong pounding on the largest set of tom-toms ever created.  For as much as this could end up one note garbage there are mountainous, nearly Neurosisian tectonic plate breaks where I could literally feel the concrete floor move beneath me.  Guitarist/vocalist/sampler B. Barr has a tone that is so inhuman, so absolutely careless of mortal ears that you’ll be deaf on headphones with the added bonus of perforated eardrums; he’s backed by bassist Danny Barr’s molten trudges and pulsating quakes.  The 5:00 minute waypoint brings forth an understated, criminally slow (yet dramatic backbeat) where lucid dream melody chords guarantee you a fresh pair of pissed pants upon your awakening.  Slowly the volume ratchets up with landfill ransacking sludge riffs chewin’ on discarded hypodermic needles as the double-tracked guitars continue to inject melody into the mindrot.  The dual vocals rely on deep, vomiting growls and pavement crumbling midrange hatred for an attack so vile I’m not sure whether to throw up or head-bang.  Though the band’s pilgrimage is a lengthy one, stick with it for some ominous twists and turns that kept yours truly locked in for the ride.  This shit is heavier than 45 BBW lesbians fucking each other to death.  A meditative Corrupted-tinged drone sets the stage for the song’s planet devouring inhale of toxic sludge abortion.

“Towers of Dust” creeps in like a fog on a tidal wave of cryptic, creepy horror movie FX until an executioner’s sludge riff smashes all hopes of an “atmospheric little jam session.”  Though slower than Jesus taking an opiate shit, the riffs do work up a noticeable catchy progression as the house leveling drum beats make sure no wall is left standing.  The pacing kicks up nicely with sharp, angular chords adding an ear-bleeding noise effect to the suffocating density of the guitar/bass riff ascension.  Repetition works in the band’s favor and just when you think they’ll keep the same movement going forever there are subtle fluctuations in each instrument to keep you following along.  Things really take on a wasteland smashing, battle-hardened tempo increase in the song’s 3rd quarter where the percussive fills are much more violent, the riffing godlessly intense and the bass the Elmer’s cum that holds it all together as the music fades out into a stop/start crescendo of bashing doom and high-pitched noise guitar.

Danny Barr introduces “Barren Soil” with a bass slink so low it’s practically waiting under your floorboards with knife in hand to end your pathetic life.  It quickly dissipates into a choppy, sloppy spillage of barely coherent cymbal/tom thrashing; Dr. Frankenstein stitched riffs and malevolent vocal puke.  Despite the semi-incoherency, the riffs get more focused as they go along and are spliced together by squalls of jarring almost melodic noise.  This is the soundtrack to a Fulci murder scene without any of the preface just the repeated poker stabbing gore.  They continue to drone along on a sparse set of riffs, conjuring foreshadow for any change that may or may not occur…  I fuckin’ swear the riffs and tempos get slower and slower as this son of a dog bitch finds its way home.  Finale “Into the Sun” has a more noticeable sense of “groove,” though I hardly want to convince you that this is Fu Manchu or something.  After the Sabbath on valium swing subsides, the guitars opt for more ringing notes and obtuse melodies which reek of the eerie atmospheres of Samothrace, Foehammer, Winter, Celtic Frost or Asunder.  Yet control is not Aseethe’s strong suit and soon the rotten doom riffs and hogslop drumming duel with lava spew growls that make Pompeii look like a big fuckin’ smoke puffin’ pussy.  Around 5:00 minutes harmony-intensive chording and restrained rhythms add another dimension to the song; a melodic one that the band decides to dump 10 tons of well-fermented sludge/doom horseshit atop of.  I’m fuckin’ loving the halt n’ go aesthetic of the song’s late game riffs which creates the kind of impact that sends braincells packin’ up and leavin’ out your earholes.  Whispered clean vocals, minimal chord drones and pagan chants give the tune another late game change that showcases sludge fans should stick with these guys and see where they take this sickening filth.  The destination is the most devastating sludge break on the album and it primes your mother for a good fuckin’ before descending into a blackened wall of soul-squelching amp-noise.  Goddamn…

With just the slightest touch more of dynamic interplay with the electronics Aseethe is primed to be one of the most fearsome sludge bands on the planet.  Don’t get me wrong, this record is pretty much perfect for the style and scares the living shit out of me but as these guys progress, everybody is in for a dick stomping into the dirt.  Fuckin’ killer shit and these guys already have a massive discography to explore.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
August 2nd, 2017


  1. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    The P.J. O’Rourke of Extreme Metal reviewing! Nice job, sludge fucker.

  2. Commented by: Jay

    Ha ha! Thanks Glenn. That one’s going in the book.

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