Ash U Ra “Inútil”

Ancient spirits collide with the concrete and kick up a sonic dust cloud filled with dead spirits on Ash U Ra’s latest, Inútil. Death rituals pulse through the viscous air on murky opener “Mantener silencio,” as buried drums sling their rhythms from beneath the mud. Slowed voices rise from a shadowed veil, further adding to the overwhelming ominous feeling. “Mantener silencio” is heavy in every way.

Ash U Ra continues the hellish descent on “Tocar madera,” the stilted rhythms once again pushing forward in the night, disembodied voices beckoning from all directions. Windswept drones are washed away in caustic flood. As the ramshackle percussion builds, the vocals are stretched and broken, drown beneath a blackened aural river. It continues without apology.

There’s a spare moment of respite as “Esperar alimento” opens with airy synths spread over a deserted altar. Hollow beats creep in, a warning of the plague to come. Ancient voices beckon the darkness and wait for the meditative howls to erase time and space. “Esperar alimento” is massive and uncontrollable, impossible to ignore. It’s a spectacular end to an enthralling release.

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