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From Ashes To New – Day One

From Ashes To New
Day One
by Andrew Sifari at 08 April 2016, 9:12 PM

Fads tend to come and go, and some even come back again for a second run. We usually attribute such renaissances to staying power or timelessness (Second Wave of Thrash Metal, anyone?), but, honestly, many “true” metalheads would scoff if you even implied that Rap Metal was “timeless,” or even quality music, for that matter. If that’s your opinion, fine. If you can honestly appreciate a good combination of rhymin’ and riffin’, however, then “Day One,” the newest release by FROM ASHES TO NEW might just be for you.

The debut album from this Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based group gives an updated-for-2016 take on the style probably made most famous by LINKIN PARK, who you can hear prominently in the band’s sound. Combining the instrumental prowess honed in former Alternative Metal acts from around their hometown with the lyrical gymnastics of Matt Brandyberry, the band explore a variety of topics relating generally to the human experience/struggle.

Land Of Make Believe” sets the tone with an aggressive rhythmic pounding to accompany Brandyberry’s relentless delivery. It’s a satisfyingly aggressive song that doesn’t veer too far into that angst-y territory that many current acts are often derided for, and keeps the theatrics to a minimum. While “Farther From Home” is a mostly confident and intense display, the extra electronic/dubstep flavoring added makes the music feel more gimmicky than unique. The evidence on why paring this back is evident on not just the preceding track, but on the following “Lost and Alone” as well. Both tracks are loud, powerful, and in-your-face enough without the effects that feel almost obligatory. They work sometimes, but like a good guitar lead, they ought to be used more like a spice than a guiding element.

When the band let the songs breathe and ease up on the unnecessary effects, they are capable of delivering some solid moments, but even if you don’t see any flaws in the music as-is, one thing that makes itself evident as the album goes on is the lack of diversity. The group incorporate a variety of different songs from time to time, but the tempo stays roughly the same the whole way through, and with so much general similarity between the songs, there’s just a lot of variating on a theme for eleven songs straight. That’s not to say that the album gets worse as it goes on, per se, but its just a lot of spinning the wheels after the first five or six songs.

This isn’t the sort of music I listen to a whole lot, so it’s possible that I’m not the best person to critique it, but I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em. “Day One” is definitely a solid album, if not a very deep one from a compositional standpoint. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of this style of music, but its not likely to interest many others.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

Final Verdict: 6/10

3 Star Rating

1. Land Of Make Believe
2. Farther From Home
3. Lost and Alone
4. Shadows
5. Through It All
6. Face The Day
7. Downfall
8. Breaking Now
9. Every Second
10. Same Old Story
11. You Only Die Once
Matt Brandyberry – Vocals, guitar, keyboards, programming
Chris Musser - Vocals
Branden "Boo" Kreider – Guitar, vocals
Tim D'onofrio – Drums
Record Label: Better Noise Records


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