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Ash Of Ashes - Down The White Water

Ash Of Ashes
Down The White Water
by Dave Nowels at 07 November 2018, 9:49 AM

Okay, so apparently this is not Celtic Metal like I assumed upon first listen. Rather it’s Skaldic Metal. At least that’s what the band itself calls it on their Facebook page, which I might add, has absolutely nothing useful in the way of information. Furthermore, it’s also unfortunate that the press release that accompanied my review copy is entirely in German. The band has no other webpage for me to peruse   for information, so to trusty Google I hereby turn.

Unfortunately, there’s scant information even on Google. Here’s what I found, ASHES OF ASHES is actually a very fitting name. ASHES OF ASHES is a band that that actually rose from the ashes of the demised band HEL. “Down With Waters” features original music composed by Skaldir, which is the only member I can discern from my German copy of the press release. It appears that the music is more of Scandinavian origin than Celtic, which I did find interesting to discover. There is one song that is more traditionally inspired, and that is the instrumental “Springar”, which also happens to be my favorite track.

The album opens with the title track, “Down The White Waters”. The overall sound and feel of the music, besides the Skaldic/Celtic theme, is one of Symphonic Metal. Soaring keys punctuated by technically perfect guitar solos, and opera like vocals. Not really my cup of tea, but the Skaldic/Celtic aspect maintains my interest, as I’ve always really enjoyed that type of music, especially live. The album continues with “Flames On The Horizon” and “Ash To Ash”. Nothing here really connects with me. It all sounds the same, with slight changes to tempos and a cool riff thrown in here and there. “Ash To Ash” does through in some growl vocals in an attempt to add a more ominous tone, but it basically falls flat. “Sea of Stones”  really makes no impact either, and now we’re almost half way through with little  inspiring me. “Springar” is the next track, and again, it was my favorite one. It’s just not enough.

The second half just bore me as much as the first half. It seems like there’s a story being told, but I just can’t connect with it, despite some pretty epic song titles, “Seven Winters Long”, “In Chains” and “Chambers of Stone”.  The album was just to similar throughout, and obviously my dislike of Symphonic Metal isn’t helping its cause. Nor, is the lack of information. But as it stands, I just can’t recommend this one. I’m quite sure there will be some people that absolutely love it, and I hope so.  It’s just not going to be me.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Down The White Waters
2. Flames On The Horizon
3. Ash To Ash
4. Sea Of Stones
5. Springar
6. Seven Winters Long (The Lay Of Wayland)
7. In Chains (The Lay Of Wayland)
8. The Queen's Lament (The Lay Of Wayland)
9. Chambers Of Stone (The Lay Of Wayland)
10. Outro
Skaldir - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass
Morten - Lyrics, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 08 August 2022

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