Album Review: Aseethe – Reverent Burden


Reverent Burden


With its debut full-length, Reverent Burden, Iowa City drone metal outfit Aseethe finally has enough wax to stretch out and show their stuff. The album is comprised of two mysterious, side-long pieces on a vinyl, without track titles or even clearly marked a or b sides.

Aseethe opens the longer of the two epic cuts with a four-plus minute display of eerie, aural horror. Metal clacks and clicks, like tree branches against a window pane, as the faint buzz of guitar feedback swells and retreats through a bed of electronic hissing that floats on the mix like fog on the moors. Just past the four minute mark, the fog seems to lift, but just for a brief moment. The trio attack their instruments with the plodding, hypnotic crush of the tide slamming against a rocky ridge.

The second, shorter piece — a relatively lean 12-minute catacomb-rattler — packs more punch than its longer partner. Though an equally mesmerizing dirge, the composition of the second track is more complex. The riff which carries its first movement, providing a backdrop for ethereal squeals of guitar and vocal howls, adds just a little swing to the stomp. The bass and the drums not only get beaten to hell but they also have a bit of melodic direction. The second movement draws out the drone of each mammoth crash. Aseethe bleeds each towering crunch of its last ounce of sustenance before unleashing another bash.

The third movement is the biggest stand out of Reverent Burden. After bleeding every decibel out of one last chord, the vocals enter and the most forceful and propulsive riffage of the whole album commences. It’s a relentless, mid-tempo attack fortified by the splash of cymbals and clamber of snare and tom beats, punctuated with deathly howls and searing flashes of guitar. After nearly a half hour of being slowly pummeled, it’s one hell of a release to cap off the album.

John Schlotfelt is currently fighting the “blue screen of death” on his laptop; pray for him as he wages this epic, and almost certainly hopeless war against technology and his desire to not pay for a new computer.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.