Daius - Ascuns review

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Band: Daius
Album: Ascuns
Release date: February 2021

01. Vrutum
02. Suier
03. Negurate
04. Vecie
05. Ascuns

It may be true that what initially attracted me to this band was the presence of Daniel Neagoe on vocals (actually, it was Radu sending me a PM that read, "Your darling Daniel Neagoe just released a new album. Just so you know."), but with members of Mourners, E-an-na, and Descend Into Despair taking part, this is actually a festival of Romanian musicians whose other projects I have reviewed.

And to make this indulgent smorgasbord of nostalgia come to an even fuller circle, I finally took the plunge and sampled the album while halfway through my review of the new Sur Austru, which happens to be a rather appropriate name to leave at this particular point in the review, as an additional point of interest accompanies Daius: unlike the very sad doom, or possibly the very, very sad doom, or even the very, very sad blackened doom, that I was expecting at first introduction, Daius incorporates folk elements - these largely in the form of flutes provided by Andrei Oltean, whose work I have come to meet with much appreciation. In contrast to the vast earthiness of Sur Austru, however, Daius abandons the terrestrial plane for that ethereal, timeless sound favored by atmospheric black metal bands, that being a rather raw and unpolished, but still impassioned, collection of raging, blackened riffs and archaic melodies spiritedly thundered out in response. Likewise, though I have come to associate Daniel Neagoe mostly with deep, voluminous growls, on this album he shrieks in a ragged and high-pitched tone, sometimes with ferocity endemic to conventional black metal but just as often with a piercing hollowness often found in more emotional or mood-focused genres.

Ascuns (which I must now note is Romanian for "hidden") is not unlike Saor or Panopticon, combining its doleful synth-and-flute melodies with scathing blasts of intense riffing and percussion; the sound seems to echo, giving the impression of Daius playing to a limitless expanse of nature rather than in a studio, and within that free space the true values of the band's atmospheric capabilities come to light. Oltean's whistlework begets much of Ascuns's flavor, but it shares credit with the synthesizers for the dreamlike tone and with some memorable guitar riffs for the melodies. The songs progressively increase in length, with the result that this five-song album stretches for 45 minutes and culminates in a 10-and-a-half-minute title track that appropriately represents the height of the album's grandeur; pipes join the fray as Siebe Hermans powers up behind the kit and plunges Daius into a vigorous climax, pummeling away underneath the escalating layers of instrumentation above. It is this final piece that displays the most individualism, both of Ascuns within itself and of Daius among their peers.

Daius's first entry follows an established school of black metal, but I could easily listen to Ascuns several times in a row and I suspect that it will become a go-to of mine for this particular type of atmosphere. Moreover, with the traditional sounds intertwined with the black metal - sometimes to rapturous effect - it's clear that Daius has a lot of potential to dominate this field and grow into an even more unique identity. Whatever course they take, it seems that sometimes it's a good thing that Radu pushes albums at me.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Written on 24.02.2021 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 72 users
24.02.2021 - 11:36
Honorary Romanian SSUS
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
24.02.2021 - 20:37
Archie 666

What is SSUS? I googled it but don't really know what it means here.
24.02.2021 - 22:49
i c deaf people
Written by Archie 666 on 24.02.2021 at 20:37

What is SSUS? I googled it but don't really know what it means here.

Here's a little hint for you.
signatures = SPAM
25.02.2021 - 20:58
Archie 666

Written by Starvynth on 24.02.2021 at 22:49

Written by Archie 666 on 24.02.2021 at 20:37

What is SSUS? I googled it but don't really know what it means here.

Here's a little hint for you.

An Editor-in-Chief. OK. Got it. Haha.

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