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Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths

Ablaze My Sorrow
Among Ashes and Monoliths
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 January 2021, 6:30 AM

I was surprised when I noticed a new ABLAZE MY SORROW in our promo list–I had no idea they were even still together. The last time I heard them was when I discovered them with “The Plague” album a few years after it's 1998 release date. Apparently they have released two full length albums (not counting this new one) and an EP since then! Anyway flash forward to 2021 and the Swedish melodic death band has graced us with their solid, if somewhat unremarkable at times,  fifth full length album "Among Ashes and Monoliths."

The MVP of the album is the new vocalist Jonas Udd.  While his cleans are well done and enjoyable on their own, it is the extreme vocals where he really shines.  Low growls or a raspy blackened shrieks hurtle out of his mouth with wild energy and total conviction. His style adds an extra dimension to the band’s heavier side. The production and mix, while clear and modern, doesn’t really do a whole lot to support the music—nothing really “pops” with the instrumentation although every member is talented and plays well enough.  The sound of the album is just a tad bit sterile for my tastes, that’s all.

Some of the songs sound incomplete—they just sort of end and it made me feel like they were rushed or perhaps parts to them left on the cutting room floor.  With twelve tracks at nearly an hour in length, it isn’t a short album anyway but I felt this as a frustrating album to listen to because it is overly long with some filler yet some of the songs needed a little more time. Gothic toned symphonic keys open the first track, “My Sorrow,” which is a good opener for the album.  The music is serviceable and checks off all the boxes for what most modern melodic death metal bands sound like. The guitar melodies are well done on this song, often times reminding me of Old Man’s Child’s more melodic moments. The vocals in the later half of the song are tortured and the music compliments the moments well.

The title track is up next and while it is enjoyable, it is one of those songs that doesn’t really go anywhere towards the end. A nice guitar harmony and melodic riffing work towards the end of the song and then it just sort of fades out almost randomly.  But the song itself is pretty good, as it is one of the more speed oriented tracks that shifts from break neck tempo to a more laid back and sorrowful passages about halfway through.   The part where the deep growls pierces through the atmosphere and then the band just hammers it out is badass and the aggressive display that melodeath sometimes needs.

As I mentioned in the beginning of my review, some of the songs are unremarkable and, therefore, not very memorable.  Both “Grit,” and “Her Cold Embrace,” are two tracks that just kind of sit there and really don’t accomplish anything.  Had these two been removed, the flow of the album would have worked a lot better.   The song’s aren’t bad per say but when I was listening to them, I became very bored and my mind wondered, which isn’t a good thing for such a long album.

Dark Chasms,” brings the album back around with a hard hitting song that lets their melody become intertwined with groove. It works well enough to make the track extra catchy. The dueling guitar melodies towards the song’s end are ear catching as well but then the problem of the track just sort of ending appears. The next track, “The Cavernous Deep,” is another rager of a track but this time boosted by unique and playful keys.  The guitar works well with the clean vocals and it was clever to have the vocals get more extreme over time as the guitars also increase in intensity.

The album hits another weak point with “Nonextence,” which is just all fire and fury but no real substance.  The following track, “March of the Eldritch Spawn,” is a short interlude that serves as nothing more than filler. All in all, this isn’t a bad album by any means but there were too many tracks I didn’t care for and too many ones I did enjoy that needed more work it seemed.  If the fat were trimmed down to seven or eight songs and those remaining fleshed out a little more, this album would have been a much more cohesive experience.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. My Sorrow
2. Among Ashes and Monoliths
3. Black Waters
4. Grit
5. Her Cold Embrace
6. At the Graves of Giants
7. Dark Chasms
8. The Cavernous Deep
9. Nonexistence
10. March of the Eldricht Spawn
11. The Day I Die
12. Frihet Framför Feghet
Anders Brorsson - Bass
Magnus Carlsson - Guitars
Alex Bengtsson - Drums
Dennie Lindén - Guitars
Jonas Udd -Vocals
Record Label: Black Lion Records


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