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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: Ashes Of Ares - Ashes Of Ares

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Ashes Of Ares – Ashes Of Ares

Written by Dave Smiles


If this band reminds you of Iced Earth and Nevermore it’s because the three musicians who make up Ashes of Ares are ex members of the aforementioned bands. The trio combined forces in 2012 to create a band that would combine their music knowledge and experiences. The result is an album that combines the range of the three musicians into a wide sonic scope of textures and dynamics. This isn’t a one dimensional metal album for you to bang your head to. There are many welcomed surprises and some moments of ‘what the hell are they doing there?’ It’s a genuinely unique and addictive album that gives more and more upon repeated listening.

The final mix of this album really helps towards creating these textures. Matt Barlow’s various vocal styles are at times tracked together with an angel / devil type contrast, which is often haunting and always impressive. His growl and classic metal falsetto play off well with each other within the track On Warrior’s Wings. The final vocal of this track brings to mind the end of the Queensryche classic Another Lonely Night.

While on the surface the lyrical content may appear to be grounded in traditional metal lore, Barlow’s career as a police officer (which he still maintains) suggests he’s seen a lot of what ordinary folk only read about. His experiences in law enforcement would no doubt inspire his lyrics so tales of rising against your oppressors and losing your best friend are perfectly suited for metal and as a reflection of modern society. The struggles between good and evil, right and wrong are timeless. Also throughout the album there seems to be a strong sense of the wrath of the God, and a need for redemption and salvation.

Freddie Williams handles dual roles as guitarist and bassist and brings some interesting ideas to the composition of songs. Having handled bass duties during his time with Iced Earth it’s great to see what he’s capable of on guitar. His bass skills still come to the foreground in the ominous intro of Punishment. The medieval acoustic intro to This is my Hell is a hint of things to come from this track which blends the style with metal. The album opener, The Messenger, is a good suggestion of what this album offers. The intro is an eerie collection of spelt out, ringing, chords that slowly builds up till the main riff of the song takes over, which is tight, heavy and addictive.

Drummer Van Williams keeps the songs tight and driven throughout the album, at times laid back at others leading the charge.

When members of established bands get together the term ‘supergroup’ get thrown on them as an easy tag. With an album this focused and performances that allow each instrument space it’s obvious that this is a band rather than a project. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this band.


Categories: Album Reviews

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