Dissolve into Ash

Mid-West death doomsters Dusk had a cool album back in 1995 …Majestic Thou in Ruin.  After breaking up in the late 90’s they reformed in 2015 and this is the band’s second full-length album Dissolve into Ash, at the end of 2023.

The legitimacy of such a reformation, which happened several years back, is the return of original members: Tim Beyer – Guitars, Keyboards, Steve Gross – Keyboards, Guitars and Steve Crane -Vocals, Bass.  In 2018 Sean Smith joined on drums.  8 songs in 49 minutes, starting with “Beacon Obscured”, Dusk wastes no time as the brooding sounds erupt immediately, almost in a funeral doom-death fashion.  Actually, in a funeral doom-death fashion.  Slow plodding and deliberate the heaviness is apparent as the song plods and that guitar tone – woooahhh Stop The Clock!  It is heavy AF.  The double bass drums erupt in a mid-paced grinding madness before the ethereal atmosphere comes in with some haunting female vocals.  Then the doom death erupts with growly vocals and terrific keyboards.  The heaviness again takes a back seat for that ethereal atmospheric part to return and the female vocals are excellent – as she sings and chants some nice aria’s.  The album cover is befitting, with the creepy cathedral in the backdrop and fog in the dense forest.  The guitar riffs are well thought out and they capture the heaviness of a doom death band, you would expect, from a band called Dusk.

“Libations Offered” is another song ushering in those haunting, yet beautiful female vocals.  The plodding nature of the song, hits hard, as does the snare drum.  It pops and it sounds like Smith is trying to break as many snare drums as humanely possible and this is slow music.  Nothing like taking your anger out on some depressively heavy-ass music.  Some excellent growls on this song, especially around the 5-minute mark -those growls are similar to a wind growling, check it out.  I listened on my AirPods and the sounds were encircling my shaved dome, and add some menace to the music.

“Shrouded in Mist” is the longest song at over 8 minutes, another song going perfectly with the album cover.  The song hits hard with those guitar riffs and heavy double-bass action.  I really like the rumbling heaviness that is Dusk.  The isolated guitar riff at the 1-minute mark is the holy shit part, because when the music gets in the heavy mid-paced rumbling, the section is comparable to Bolt Thrower, on some of their slower rumbling songs.  This brings an evil grin to this bearded mug.  The slow down at the 2.15 mark, is great and it plods in a fashion similar to Winter, with the super slow dirge and you’re waiting for that snare drum to be hit, because there is such a delay when it actually hits.  Very cool part and then the double bass comes in again, with some neat guitar melodies.  Vocals have the gruff delivery and he also lets out some higher register screamy growls.  I’m not the biggest fan of those higher register moments, but suffice it to say, it does add a creative nuance to the vocals, so they are not one-dimensional.

“An Aerial View” closes the album in an opening soft fashion where the female vocals take center stage and the music is intertwined with much atmosphere.  I picture this moment being lost in the woods with leafless trees and snow all over the place as icicles are dripping from the trees as well.  The song picks up the pace and keyboards are on this song as well.  The heaviness continues until the end of the song, rather than ending, as the song begins.  This song ends rather abruptly, in my opinion.  I think a better ending transition would have worked a bit more.

Dissolve into Ash is a damn fine doom death album from Dusk and welcome back with your long overdue album gents.  I like when bands reform, but actually put out a new album, and Dusk prove they have more depressive music left in their tank of death to spread to the masses.  Hey if you enjoy doom death metal album with a lot of atmosphere and haunting keyboards, I recommend Dusk.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
January 4th, 2024


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