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Ashes Of Moon - The Darkness Where The Past Lay Sleeping Award winner

Ashes Of Moon
The Darkness Where The Past Lay Sleeping
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 October 2014, 9:19 PM

ASHES OF MOON is a Melodic Death Metal band based out of Austria.  Following the release of a demo in 2010, the band was later signed to WormHoleDeath Records, and have released their first full-length album here.  Their music is inspired by the members’ taste of music, mainly Scandinavian Death, Melodic Death and Black Metal, but also Classic and modern Prog, and Post Rock. A contrast between hard riffs, aggressive growling and screaming vocals on the one side and catchy melodies, clean and acoustic guitar parts, mixed with Prog and Post Rock elements on the other side, was created. The lyrics mostly deal with sorrowful feelings, love death and various emotions, often described by nature-related metaphors and tales. The band itself would describe its style as some kind of Post Melodic Death Metal.  The song “Black Coffin” leads off the album.  It’s a strong, powerful rhythm with traditionally harsh Death vocals.  The guitar melodies dance in and around the main riff with all the sensibility of IRON MAIDEN.  I like the use of harmony in the chorus as well.  “The Secret” takes you on a different course.  Delicate acoustic guitars and spoken words give it a really sinister feeling, and the chord progressions have a Doomy quality to them.  “Broken Mirror” is another hit.  The main riff is chocked full of pleasing melodies, while the deep and dark Death vocals jar against them in perfect unison.  It really embodies the style and beauty of this genre, especially with the slow, harmonic bridge following the second chorus, and the twisting and turning ending.  The power in “The Dark He Invoked” is in the gentle sway of the various guitar parts, connecting the extremes with musical precision.  The pinnacle of this style is to create moments of grace within the dark walls of Death Metal.  This is exactly what you will find in this song.

Turning towards the light a bit more comes the track called “The Moon’s Curse.”  The vocals are brutally expressive and they let the melody shine here like a light from Heaven piercing the veil over a blackened and evil forest.   By contrast, “Never Behind” focuses more on the power and might of this style.  If you are looking for more moments of crushing Death Metal, this is your track.  “In The End” has a frail, ethereal opening, where the heavy vibrato guitar notes sound like wind chimes in a church graveyard.  It builds very nicely, and the anticipation of the heaviness to come is met head on.  The melody of the main riff rides a fence of major and minor chords that connect in such a uniquely musical way that you can’t predict how it progresses.  There is depth and complexity here that is hard to disregard.  “Farewell” comes at you more swiftly and honestly, with unabashed darkness.  Closing the album is the aptly titled song “Wind.”  They do a nice job of allowing the song to build with each new passage, as the wind itself does.  Being a super-fan of this genre, I have heard a lot of Melodic Death Metal.  I must say that this album from ASHES OF MOON is about as well done as I could expect from a debut.  You will find beauty, originality, and a cadre of different sounds, rhythms and harmonies, all done over a despondent theme that runs deep throughout the album.  There are many memorable moments here and the attention to detail in their compositional style is very well noted.

4 Star Rating

1. Black Coffin
2. The Secret
3. Broken Mirror
4. The Dark He Invoked
5. The Moon’s Curse
6. Never Behind
7. In The End
8. Farewell
9. Wind
Matthias Fibrich – Vocals, Bass
Michael Sagmuller – Guitar
Mario “Luis” Schieber – Guitar
Heli – Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Productions


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