Ahna - Crimson Dawn

27 Mar 2020 - Thorsten

Crustpunk | Caligari Records | Release date: 07 Mar 2020

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Crustpunk will never ever die as long as there are bands like Ahna and their politically charged messages.

“Crustpunk” or “Crustcore” - a genre that defines itself (just like early Black Metal) through a dirty, rotten lo-fi sound, lightning speed drumming, interchanging growling and screaming and often a similar aesthetic. Canadian outfit Ahna from Vancouver, British Columbia, fulfill all of these to the max. Their high octane crust has already been featured on 16 releases, however Crimson Dawn is only their second full-length and comes after a five-year period of no releases at all.

Ahna burst out on this record with 7 songs and 36 minutes which shows that they are definitely able to go “all the way” taking no hostages but leaving the ground strewn with the dead bodies of those who couldn’t keep up with their speed. The rhythm section oftentimes sounds like a shredding version of Motörhead on speed (if that was possible) playing shows for those folks who want to bang their heads not on the walls of a club but rather on the ceiling of a dark, lights-out SM-Studio as it should hurt like hell. Sometimes it sounds as if those Uzi-attacks on the guitar strings are even slower than the chugga-chugga-drum kills. This is simple, a clean attack to drown everyone in huge puddles of blood, mud, feces and is meant for all species. Everyone must die, total (deathly) democracy.

This is also the strongest difference between black metal and crust punk – the political message. Crust punk is outspoken political and mostly on the political left. Amebix or Discharge led the way for this idea of a musically disgusting and politically charged version of punk in the 80s and since then the incorporation of black metal screaming has not done much to improve the delivery of the political contents. This is also the thing that is bothersome about this release, the lyrics are mostly non-intelligible.

Nevertheless, musically this is a more than solid release, as it combines all the components of modern crust and delivers all of it on a high level. A record that fans of the genre should hold dear to their hearts as one doesn’t know how long to wait for the next release – either only a few weeks or again a few years.