Frost Like Ashes - Born To Pieces
Born To Pieces
Open Grave / Sullen Records

Let me tell you, at the time of this writing, this had to be one of the worst weeks ever for your Uncle NecRo. Without going into details, sufficed to say that the only real highlight of this week was the arrival of this very limited EP from Frost Like Ashes that was ordered over a month ago. Take that as you will…

Being the ravenous FLA fanboy that I am, it comes as no surprise that I immediately jumped on the preorder for this CD the moment I read about it on MySpace. Usually, I don’t do preorders, but this was a bit different. First off, it was FROST LIKE ASHES. They had me there. But, there’s the fact that this CD was only going to have a pressing of 250 copies (if memory serves correctly). Open Grave Records has always impressed me as a high-quality “for the fans, by the fans” label, so I went ahead and did what I rarely do- I preordered my own copy post-haste. At the time, I think it was in the mastering phase, so I had a wait ahead of me. And now, I have it in my meaty little mitts, listening to the music throbbing through my tried-and-true computer speakers. Was the wait worth it? Um, HECK YEAH!

First off, while this is listed as an EP, it’s far from just a quick appetizer. The CD clocks in at nearly an hour, with ten full tracks of insane brutality. There are two brand spankin’ new tracks to start off the disc: “Born To Pieces” and “Pale Shadows”, both of which rip it like none other. The musicianship seems to have been pushed up a notch, and if this is again any indication of where they’re going with a full-length (and let’s hope there’s another full-length in them), then sign me up for more. Lyrically, the songs are very, very well written and thought provoking, printed in the CD booklet with a written preamble explaining the meaning of each song by Sebat and Azahel, respectively. Proves that there can be some very deep thinking metalheads, very nice.

Besides the two new cuts, the rest of the EP isn’t exactly just filler. Oh, no. See, there’s “Immortals 2008”, which is a re-recorded version of a song that, up to now, only appeared on their self-released 2002 demo. Also, there’s a couple of songs that get the Frost Like Ashes treatment — one of Saint’s classic “Plan 2”, which is one of my favorite metal praise songs, and one of Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around”. Both of which are very brutal and excellent takes, especially the Saint tune. There’s two versions of “Nightfall’s Cold Kiss”, one from the Treasury Of Sorrows compilation, and an acoustic version that may not be brutal, but is very creepy and dark. I like it. Rounding out the EP are a couple of rehearsal takes of “A Cruel Verse” and “Adorers Of Blood”, two early FLA tunes that here are very raw and would probably appeal more to the diehard collector. Like myself.

Overall, I am NOT regretting purchasing this tasty blackened extreme metal offering. It’s an instant collectable, yes, but the music itself makes it worth owning even if it wasn’t. Born To Pieces seriously wets my appetite for more…