Just what in the Sam Hill is going on in Portland..specifically with two guys from Ash Borer running around making a bunch of noise and releasing cassette demos with abandon. These two gentleman have been responsible for the release of some really decent black, death, and black/death demos int he past couple of years. Urzeit, Triumvir Foul, Serum Dreg, and now the near unpronounceable Uškumgallu is added to the duo’s idiosyncratic list. The interesting part about all of this is that despite Ash Borer being somewhat of a high profile name in the atmospheric black metal crowd and having their last full length sponsored by Profound Lore, these demos come and go without much of any fanfare or even mention. To what end do these two weirdos from the midwest strive for? Whatever it is, I would like to know as I have completely fallen under the spell of un-publicized black metal.
If it seems like I am getting excited over something so small, Uškumgallu is admittedly strange to get started. There is a considerable lack of loudness in the demo and the entire thing starts out like chaos which is coming from another room. Through its short running time however, the desperate cries which echo through the albums atmosphere are fantastic if one is looking for the soundtrack to Perdition, one must look no further than the hulking demon at your doorstep. Songs like “Doner” pulse with a punkish beat while “Solace in Emaciation” wail against gates of the void. This Portland duo always manages to find a vein and sink their proverbial teeth in the neck of the listener and Uškumgallu is another victory in their small little corner.
Seeing things like this always interest me becasue of its limited run. The cassette version of this demo is limited to 100 and the digital version probably will not go much further than the physical copies sold. Will all of that said, all of these mumers and rumors from the Pacific Northwest are stirring up to be something potentially great. whether or not this duo continues a full length from any of their projects is something that can only be waited upon and potentially hoped for. For now some of us will be happy in just finding demos like Easter eggs hidden under bushes.
Kaptain Carbon is the custodian of Tape Wyrm, a mod for Reddit’s r/metal, Creator of Vintage Obscura, and a Reckless Scholar for Dungeon Synth.