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“Bitter Past” Will Cure What Ails You

Ails by JehN.W.A.
Ails by JehN.W.A.

Normally, I like to save the the artist’s quote for the end of our writeups, but today I think it helps to have it up front. Here’s what Ails singer Laurie Shanaman has to say about their new song, “Bitter Past”:

The song is about the inability to forgive and let it go, despite being told to “forgive and forget.” Like George Harrison once sang so wisely that “All Things Must Pass,” yes, eventually we will get there… but it’s never easy.

Shanaman and her bandmates carry a past with them that goes beyond their lyrical interests. If her name rings a bell, it might be from her former band and longtime Invisible Oranges favorite Ludicra. As Ails nears the release of their debut album The Unraveling, the shadow of Ludicra’s achievements looms large in the minds of their potential audience. “Bitter Past” proves that, while Ails may be a product of their history, they aren’t beholden to it.

Shanaman and fellow Ludicra alumnus Christy Cather have always had a knack for making metal which is extreme without sounding inhuman and forward-thinking without coming off as snooty. Ails continues that legacy. “Bitter Past” is black metal through and through, but isn’t a replication of any song you may have heard before. Though the song twists through some familiar ground, with verve appropriate for an album’s finale, it never walks the beaten path. Each new turn is a surprise. No matter how heavy the past weighs, each moment bursts with the possibilities of the future.

The Unraveling will be released on April 20th via The Flenser. Follow Ails on Facebook.

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