Hashe - ...De Viejos Robles Y Alerces [Parkbench Records - 2012]Hashe is a Chilean one man black metal project who summon up a decidedly wonky & haphazard mixture of ambient black metal, slowed post-rock, and off-kilter synth craft. “De Viejos Robles Y Alerces”( English translation Old oak and larch) is the projects second release, and it comes in the form of a CDR ep.
The thirty four minute release takes in four tracks in all- and these include a three & half minute intro track, and three other full length tracks that fall between the nine & twelve minute mark. The tracks are a mainly mid paced mixture of rudimentary blacked guitar craft, simplistic drumming, reverb hazed blacked growls, and prominent often extremely wonky keyboards. The two things that make “De Viejos Robles Y Alerces” rewarding/ interesting above the clutch of one man black metal projects is the way the keyboard elements are often out of sink with the guitar elements( at times been nearly out of tune), and the keyboards often almost slurred 80’s tuneful tendencies- which seem to grow as the album goes along. This second element reaches it's peak in the last track “El Llamado de la Desolada Tierra de los Viejos Robles y Alerces”, where bright 80’s pop like synth stabs awkwardly glide over a grim mid-paced blacked metal dirge.
All of the tracks here tread a thin-line between just competent composition, and moving towards off-key/ wrong sounding-ness. But there’s a certain wonky charm that (mostly) makes this listenable & rewarding through-out. I can certainly see this appealing to those who enjoy the more off-centre/ wonky moments of the likes of Stirborg & Moloch.Roger Batty