Unrepentant purveyors of apocalyptic folk

medieval doom & gloom

dirges & drones.

Unto Ashes is a musical ensemble formed in 1997 by Michael Laird. The band currently consists of artists Michael Laird, Ericah Hagle, Paul Ash, and Bret Helm.

Unto Ashes ist ein Musik-Ensemble, das 1997 von Michael Laird gegründet wurde. Aktuell besteht die Band aus den Künstlern Michael Laird, Ericah Hagle, Paul Ash, und Bret Helm.

*Listen to the entire album*

From Projekt Records:

"Inspired by a resplendent tapestry of apocalyptic folk, gothic, and neoclassical influences, Unto Ashes’ Orchids Grew Here, their first album in four years, is an enigmatic excursion into existential terror; of bliss and tragedy; of love and beauty; of hope in the face of universal void. To quote Aeschylus (whose words appear in the first song), Orchids Grew Here is tantamount to an exploration into “the awful grace of God.”

The twelve illuminated sound-paintings are both enchanted and enchanting — they venture into a future of non-existence from a garden of withered orchids to interstellar black holes. Their eleventh Projekt Records album is alive with delicate instrumentation sown with poetic narratives of philosophical and romantic musing.

The synergy of core members Michael Laird, Bret Helm, and Ericah Hagle is expressed in soft, at times haunting vocals, wandering through panoramas of passion, darkness, and introspection. Lead vocalist Laird has a soft, redolent voice conjuring the spirit of Nick Drake. Helm's distinctive voice is reminiscent of Peter Murphy, and Hagle's complex, ethereal harmonies appear prominently as soloist on "Starfish.”

Unto Ashes was founded in 1997 by multi-instrumentalist Laird. Through his work as an antiquarian bibliographer, he discovered many obscure texts that continue to inspire his music. This album offers passages from Aeschylus, the founder of tragedy (Greece, 525 BCE - 465 BCE), Christina Rossetti (England, 1830-1894), Edwin Arnold (England, 1832-1904), Ethel Clifford (England, 1876-1959) and Anna Akhmatova (Russia, 1889-1966).

A less obscure text is found on the indelible cover of Madonna's "Frozen" re-imagined with waves of acoustic guitar, fervent vocals from Helm, and an Arabic-sounding cello duet.

With uncanny alchemy of sparse instrumentation ranging from the medieval (hurdy-gurdy, viola da gamba, dulcimers) to the modern (analog synthesizers, tape loops, etc.) and bewitching vocals, Unto Ashes delivers mystery, elegance, melancholy, and — ultimately — triumph."

BANDCAMP: https://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/orchids-grew-here

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/0CpFhGdfgXERHZiJJWJ5hZ

We will celebrate, with such fierce dancing, the death of your institutions

Founded in 1997, Unto Ashes are among the foremost purveyors of "blood-lit" music, by which they seek to explore the beautiful and terrible currents that weave themselves through our lives. Their highly original music is informed by Medieval dirges, Apocalyptic Folk, Black Metal, Spinning and Harvest chants, and German Romantic sensibilities. Epic and exalted; claustrophobic and suffocating; vital and menacing; glorious and impenetrable: Unto Ashes is all - and none - of these.

Unto Ashes utilize an unusually broad array of ancient and modern musical instruments to achieve their truly unique sound: harmonium, hurdy-gurdy, Appalachian and hammered dulcimer, Persian and African percussion, cello, French horn, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and synthesizer, Indian tamboura, and bombastic drums. Their signature vocals and vocal harmonies have been described as "exquisite" and have been ranked alongside the foremost Heavenly Voices ensembles. Unto Ashes recordings and live performances are compelling, hypnotic, and powerful.

We invite you to partake in Unto Ashes "blood-lit" music courtesy of  Projekt Records,  youtube, and innumerable international compilation appearances.

Hails and Horns to Most Excellent Erstwhile Unto Ashes band members:
❦ Natalia Lincoln (keyboards, vocals)
❦ Ericah Hagle (vocals)
❦ Bret Helm (guitars, vocals)
❦ Mariko (vocals, violins)
❦ Jeremy Alisauskas (guitars)
❦ Melody Henry (dulcimers, percussion, vocals)
❦ Kit Messick (vocals)
❦ Catherine Bent (cello)
❦ Susanna Melendez (lyrics)
❦ Steve Bentko (other)