Underground Sounds: Ashtoreth – Offering I

Label: self-released
Artist: Ashtoreth
Origin: Belgium

Only in the forest, true tranquility can be truly found it seems. For Peter Verwimp, the man behind the mysterious entity called Ashtoreth, this is where much of the magic comes from. In an interview, he expressed that in particular the tension between the urban and the natural matters in his work. Listening to ‘Offering I’, we mainly hear the tranquility of the verdant realm.

Aside from Ashtoreth, Verwimp plays music with urban black metallers Emptiness, whose sound finds root in the city and its mesmerizing concrete jungle. The band embraces a dystopian view perhaps, but their expression is clear. He also makes music in Building Transmissions, Maya and once made hardcore in Stifled Cries. A versatile artist with fantastic work.

This offering is a track, forming around a long, persevering drone. The effects wrap around it, coiling in languid manners to create a sense of wholeness. Balance most aptly describes the sound. This dehumanized journey resounds with what thrum of life.  Not the city-dwelling, economy-driven type, but the bustling of nature. It might be a slight murmur in the background too, that enhances the experience. The record was after all recorded live in Tinques, France.

Ambient samples and chitterings emerge as the journey goes deeper into the forest, deeper into that other realm. Dreamy chants reach your ears, as a branch is pushed aside. As the shamanic singing swells, the song takes on a transcendental air, a spiritual reaching up towards the canopy of leaves.

With the music of Ashtoreth, you are free to drift away on the stream. Let your mind latch on and take that spiritual slide of 50 minutes through a soundscape of lush green and ancient overgrowth.

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