STAR OF ASH – Iter.Viator.

Black Metal’s Yoko Ono has boldly proven her worth with Iter.Viator., albeit via a non-metal avenue. The artist formerly known as Ihriel (a.k.a. Heidi S. Tveitan) resurfaces anew, following the PECCATUM debacle, in the form of STAR OF ASH and convincingly shatters the crystal ball that pinned her as a clueless, shrieking, outsider who’s only on the inside by way of marriage. Iter.Viator. is a surprising DEAD CAN DANCE-esque gem of sparse sonicscapes interjected with hypnotizing beats and electronic ambience. From beginning to end, the album is a near-flawless musical journey that is artistically engaging and never drags its feet. Moods build and fall with grace, transitioning between delicate strings to classical-meets-jazz piano flair to ULVER-esque electronic/experimental stylings. Tveitan‘s vocals are pleasantly tranquil, and fortunately, STAR OF ASH suits the she-devil’s vocal capabilities far better than her previous projects. While STAR OF ASH is creatively spearheaded by Mrs. Tveitan, the influence of her hubby’s input is not unapparent. Elements of Mr. “Emperor” Tveitan‘s style of orchestral composition and experimentalism (in the form of PECCATUM, THOU SHALT SUFFER, and the oddball EMPEROR tracks) seep heavily into Iter.Viator., while still allowing STAR OF ASH to maintain its own identity. Iter.Viator. is a post-black metal slam dunk…but curiously, one still wonders if STAR OF ASH could shine so bright without the assistance from The Emperial One. (Jester Records/The End Records)

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