Specializing in equal parts brutality, melody and the ethereal, Minneapolis 4 piece, Ashbringer’s black metal metamorphosis began in 2013 as the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Nick Stanger. Several releases and tours later, they have perfected their craft on their 3rdfull length and Prosthetic Records debut album, Absolution. To be released on June 28th, the double LP will be available on black and a limited-edition magenta/green splatter vinyl variant as well as compact disc and all digital outlets.
Stanger got a very early start in music, forming his first band and playing out at age 15. After discovering the likes of Agallock, Alcest, Fen and others, he decided to start writing and recording for a solo project that would incorporate elements of those bands and become Ashbringer’s first album, Vacant. That album was self-released on Stanger’s label on April 8th, 2015, which also marked his 18th birthday. Stanger comments, “I kind of thought it would be symbolic to mark my transition to adulthood both literally and musically, as I felt like that album took a lot of discipline for me to make, and artistically it felt like the most 'mature' thing I had ever done”
The following day, Italian forward-thinking label, Avantgarde Music, reached out and offered to sign the band and the two made plans for Vacant to be reissued. A few days following that, the band was approached by fellow Minnesotans, Amiensus, to accompany them on a US tour. Stanger obliged, even though he had didn’t have an actual band, but after a few text messages sent to some high school friends, an ensemble was created. So literally within just a few days of announcing his project, Stanger had an international record deal, a full band and was going on tour.
“We were all 18 year old kids just about to graduate high-school!” exclaims Stanger. “I still think it's crazy that that's how it happened. But it did. So I had a full band and was able to say yes to the tour. This was the fastest anything had ever moved for me as a musician. There was never a spoken moment where Ashbringer transitioned from being a solo project to a full band, it kind of just happened. I wouldn't have made any sense to not become a full band, so nobody really had to mention it, that's just how it was gonna be from that point on.”
Following the tour, Stanger began working on new music. Whereas Vacant took nearly 2 years to write, this new material was written in less than 2 months. Nathan Wallestad, the band’s bassist, stepped to to help the recording process and by 2016, Avantgarde was ready to release the groups 2ndalbum, Yūgen, which was described by No Clean Signing as “both storming and hypnotic, ferocious and beautiful, with a mix of barbaric and clean vocals.” The album also appeared on a few “Best of 2016” lists with Metal Sucks saying “This is art, molded from thin air with discerningly patient hands practicing nothing less than the absolute mastery of a craft. With so goddamn much to appreciate about this album, you better as fuck stop reading and start listening!”
Shortly after the release Stanger and Wallestad moved to Arizona for 9 months to study audio engineering together. While down there the pair made lots of future plans and started to work on the blue prints for their third album. The two spent over two years crafting the album and getting it just rest. This time they enlisted the help of Kris Hilbert (All Hell, Between The Buried and Me) to mix with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Portrayal of Guilt) to master.
Nick Stanger - Guitar, Vocals
Nathan Wallestad - Bass
Cormac Piper - Keyboards