Album Review – Ablaze My Sorrow / Among Ashes and Monoliths (2021)

One of the most exciting forces of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene returns with their fifth full-length album, ready to kill once again with their visceral and aggressive music.

A familiar name in the Melodic Death Metal arena, Falkenberg, Halland-based outfit Ablaze My Sorrow came together in 1993 when Gothenburg, Sweden’s own brand of Death Metal had just begun to take shape, unfortunately splitting up in 2006. However, in 2013 their long-awaited reunion happened, and since this rebirth the quintet released their fourth album, Black, and played a slew of memorable gigs and fests. Now in 2021, after four years of incubation, Ablaze My Sorrow are ready to unleash upon us all their fifth full-length album, entitled Among Ashes and Monoliths, highly recommended for fans of the music by At The Gates, Dark Tranquility and In Flames, among others. Mixed and mastered by Ulf Blomberg at HoboRec/The End Studios, and featuring a classic cover artwork by Algerian artist Mustapha Haraoui (Mustapha Design DZ), Among Ashes and Monoliths is the band’s first-ever record with new vocalist Jonas Udd, whose aggressive rasp fits this passionate band to perfection, while the other members, those being Magnus Carlsson and Dennie Lindén on the guitars, Anders Brorsson on bass and Alex Kribensten on drums, return intact from their previous releases and are ready to kill once again with their visceral Melodic Death Metal.

In the atmospheric and dark opening track My Sorrow, Magnus and Dennie provide their welcome card from the very first second with their slashing riffs, exploding into Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal for diehard fans of the style, followed by the title-track Among Ashes and Monoliths, where Alex hammers his drum set mercilessly providing Jonas all he needs to shine with his enraged roars, also presenting elements from old school Black Metal in an amazing depiction of what the band is capable of. Then an introspective beginning showcasing clean, anguished vocals evolves into the obscure Black Waters, where the guitars by Magnus and Dennie cry in pain from start to finish while Anders and Alex add their share of heaviness to their core sonority; and more of their classic Melodic Death Metal is offered in Grit, with all band members extracting sheer adrenaline and violence from their sonic weapons, all spearheaded by the venomous growling by Jonas. After that, a melodious rhythm spiced up by Anders’ metallic bass punches will inspire you to bang your head with the band in Her Cold Embrace, where Jonas gets the sensational and stunning support of guest vocalist Jonna Enckell; whereas leaning towards old school Death Metal, the band puts the pedal to the metal and decimates our ears with At the Graves of Giants, with the demonic gnarls by Jonas walking hand in hand with the blast beats by Alex.

Dark Chasms brings forward another round of their vicious and aggressive Melodic Death Metal, with the band’s guitar duo extracting rage, pain and electricity form their strings accompanied by the rumbling bass by Anders, and an eerie, wicked intro ignites the In Flames-inspired tune titled The Cavernous Deep, presenting more of Jonas’ clean vocals while the instrumental pieces keep the ambience as dark and heavy as it can be. Then violence and obscurity continue to flow from their music in Nonexistence, exhibiting hints of Thrash Metal carefully added to their core sound and spearheaded by the sharp riffage by Magnus and Dennie, consequently inviting us all to slam into the pit together with the band, whereas somber sounds permeate the air in the instrumental interlude March of the Eldricht Spawn, setting the stage for Ablaze My Sorrow to come crushing once again in The Day I Die, a solid Melodic Death Metal tune showcasing all elements we learned to love in this type of music, including harsh growls intertwined with clean vocals, smashing drums and epic and frantic riffs and solos. Lastly, we have Frihet Framför Feghet, which is Swedish for “freedom over cowardice”, a bestial, hellish creation by the quintet with guest Ulf Blomberg bringing his share of dementia to the band’s sick music, sounding perfect for jumping up and down with those Swedish metallers and cracking our necks headbanging nonstop.

If Melodic Death Metal is your business, and business is good, you should definitely go check what the guys form Ablaze My Sorrow are up to on Facebook and on Instagram, stream their full catalog on Spotify, and purchase your favorite version of Among Ashes and Monoliths by clicking HERE. In the end, despite the ups and downs faced by the band through the years, and by that I mean the fact they ended up splitting up in 2006 and going on a hiatus for seven long years before reuniting in 2013, it doesn’t look and feel at all that the band didn’t “exist” during that period due to the high quality and energy found in their new album, proving those guys are back for good and hungrier than ever for more, strengthening their name as one of the driving forces of contemporary Swedish Melodic Death Metal and, therefore, providing us fans all we need to bang our heads and raise our horns in support of underground Swedish metal music.

Best moments of the album: Among Ashes and Monoliths, Her Cold Embrace, At the Graves of Giants and Frihet Framför Feghet.

Worst moments of the album: My Sorrow and The Cavernous Deep.

Released in 2021 Black Lion Records

Track listing
1. My Sorrow 4:30
2. Among Ashes and Monoliths 4:11
3. Black Waters 3:47
4. Grit 3:39
5. Her Cold Embrace 4:55
6. At the Graves of Giants 4:43
7. Dark Chasms 4:15
8. The Cavernous Deep 4:44
9. Nonexistence 3:45
10. March of the Eldricht Spawn 1:40
11. The Day I Die 3:17
12. Frihet Framför Feghet 3:41

Band members
Jonas Udd – vocals
Magnus Carlsson – guitars
Dennie Lindén – guitars
Anders Brorsson – bass
Alex Kribensten – drums

Guest musicians
Ulf Blomberg – additional vocals on “Frihet Framför Feghet”
Jonna Enckell – additional vocals on “Her Cold Embrace”

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