Today we’re proud to bring you an exclusive full album premiere of the debut album by American dark industrial metal usurpers ASH PRISON to be released tomorrow September 22 2023 worldwide by Sentient Ruin on LP, tape, and digital formats – behold!
If there is one thing we can “appreciate” as underground music lovers about the COVID pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns, it’s the number of artists who got the opportunity to get together remotely using the internet and all the extra free time to create new bands and projects. ASH PRISON is no exception. During the lockdowns vocalist Mattia Alagna (Abstracter, ex-Atrament, Somnolent) linked up remotely with his Sentient Ruin label mate guitarist/producer Matt Auxier (6th Circle, Abyssal Rift) and Auxier’s friend and Child ov Night bassist Jonathan Thompson to create a homage and celebration to the trio’s long-running love for industrial music and all its declinations. Their debut album Future Torn is a skull-fracturing usurpation of dark heavy industrial, raw power electronics and blown-out punk/heavy metal worshipping the cult of bands like Ministry, Skinny Puppy, G.I.S.M., Slayer, Discharge, Motörhead, Brighter Death Now and Godflesh, but while the band’s influences are obvious, Ash Prison also made it a point to create something wholly original, unheard of and thought-provoking that would stand entirely on its own, and the feat is accomplished with pristine intents.
Introducing vocals inspired by black metal (Alagna cites Mayhem‘s Attila Csihar and G.I.S.M.’s Sakevi Yokoyama as main influences for his vocals), politicized anarcho-nihilist lyrics, a raw and abrasive production quality exalting a rainfall of glitched and blown out (power) electronics, and an onslaught of raw, grinding guitars both reminiscent of raw punk and black/heavy metal at the same time, “Future Torn” indeed sounds unlike anything else out there. The overall sound is ambiguous and fascinating, both identifiable by its influences but at the same time also completely unidentifiable in its own right, and sounding like absolutely nothing else. The lyrics and general aesthetic hint at UK anarcho-punk (Doom and Rudimentary Peni particularly), but also to the xerox-loving noise and power electronics culture, as well as the weirdness and erraticism of Japanese noise punk. There is also a diversity of moods and moments in these songs which give the album a sprawling feel, covering a ton of ground and visiting many different places of ’80s and ’90s industrial, punk, and metal, with cuts like “Scorn”, “Death Reborn” and “Black Horizon” bringing to mind “Selfless”-era Godflesh, “Voidhead” and “Weep in My Shadow” sounding like a cyber-punk version of G.I.S.M.‘s “Sonicrime Therapy”, “No Return” even hinting and goth and dark wave with its groovier pace and infectious melodies, and tracks like “Archangel”, “Eraser” and “Collapse” sounding like a raw punk version of Ministry‘s “Land of Rape and Honey” album.
But what mostly attracts attention and respect in Future Torn is its unapologetic and confrontationally underground feel. The production is unforgivingly raw, blown out, derailing, completely unpolished, and corrosive and vitriolic as fuck, but at the same time, it’s dense, tense, and meticulously crafted, giving the whole work a completely anti-commercial yet credible and obscure aura. There is an anger, madness, and antagonism transpiring from these songs that make “Future Torn” both grim and threatening yet exciting at the same time.