Right from the start, Sickle of Dust successfully manages to avoid being pegged under just one genre. On the one-man band’s debut album, Between the Worlds, Ash displays the essences of black metal, folk metal, doom metal, and even post-rock and progressive metal. The style here draws from numerous influences and the most prominent one would be the extremely raw sound of black metal. While it may not be true black metal, the production and Ash’s vocals are undeniably reminiscent of the genre. Ranging from Ash’s eerie shrieks as well as the emotional guitar tones, Between the Worlds serves as a beast of its own and it represents the peak of fall season and the beginning of winter truly well with its overall depressing mood.
“They Follow the Sun” happens to be the album’s lengthy epic and what an unbelievable impression this track leaves. It assures the listener that most of the experience is going to be filled with the melancholy and despair of the dying leaves at the height of fall season as the mesmerizing, punchy guitar work immediately sucks anyone into its vortex. Once the track takes off, it never lets up in terms of the enjoyment department. It thoroughly delivers with charismatic guitar riffs and Ash’s voice.
Even as this behemoth of a track comes to its inevitable end, the album still never manages to lose its luster.Album closer “The Place that Doesn’t Exist” brings the album to a close quite nicely. The wavy tempo changes prove to be impressive and the folky leanings shine through here nicely.
To further enhance the gloomy vibe the band tried to convey, Ash injected plentiful slower moments to emotionally take things down a few notches. Thanks to the many somber guitar tones, he accomplishes this with grace and finesse.
All in all, Between the Worlds exists as a debut that truly soars. The album really captures the mood of sorrow and melancholy quite well due to the sheer thoughts of fall and the beginning of winter in mind. The project’s poetic vision, guitar work, and vocals is where the enjoyment of Between the Worlds truly lays.