New York's Castevet is not your typical black metal band. Featuring current and former members of grindcore act Defeatist and experimental death/doom crew Ehnahre, and roping in Dysrhythmia/Krallice/Behold... The Arctopus/Gorguts guitarist Colin Marston as producer, they've created an album that takes the tremolo guitar picking and thundering-hooves drumming of black metal and weds them to complex, interlocking riff structures more akin to progressive thrash. The vocals are a hoarse roar, almost entirely free of theatricality, that owe much to hardcore and grind. The track "Grey Matter" is particularly impressive, built as it is around an opening guitar riff that's very nearly post-punk. As the song progresses, it becomes utterly headbang-worthy, combining sounds that don't seem like they should work together (bass chords erupting in the corners of the stereo field, anthemic guitar riffs, machine-gun drumming) into a whole that's both captivating and heroic. Profound Lore's roster is almost overstuffed with bands taking extreme metal in new and exciting directions, and Castevet have made an astonishing debut with Mounds of Ash.
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AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman