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Back from Ashes
Released: 2009, Self
Reviewer: Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
With the sheer volume of CDs us staffers at Metal-rules.com are asked to look at, it’s inevitable that some of us create a designation for albums we only need to hear once before judging; I call these “one-spinners,” because there isn’t enough interesting material in the album to warrant more than a single listen. BACK FROM ASHES is such an album, one that combines the most mediocre, generic elements of radio-styled hard rock, melodeath, and hardcore to provide a completely forgettable listening experience.
This Arizona quintet claims they draw influence from “blues, jazz, classic rock and even death metal,” but the only influence I can hear is early 2000’s mallcore, Linkin Park, and maybe some Atreyu (who of all emo/metalcore bands actually has some talent.) Each song is comprised of the tried-and-used formula of grind, tacky melody, double-bass/guitar lock, scream, clean singing shtick that’s so pervasive on American airwaves. Back From Ashes doesn’t offer a single bit of novelty or originality, preferring to stick with what emotionally-stunted teenagers can mindlessly mosh to. There’s even an attempt at a ballad, which showcases the limited vocal talents of Jason Hobel (who, lack of skill aside, he clearly catapults his heart into his work.) “The Suffering Within” quickly devolves into a trudging piece of slam-dance bait, which drains whatever emotion might have been present in an otherwise heartfelt attempt
From a positive perspective, BACK FROM ASHES doesn’t try to be the most “hardcore,” brutal band out there. They keep their approach as accessible and mainstream as possible, which means the songs are straightforward and have some moderately interesting melodeath riffing, despite the pervasive breakdowns. Bassist Lane Lariviere is an unusually strong presence in a guitar-dominated subgenre, and I much preferred listening to his rumbling than the unexceptional hardcore-styled screams of Mr. Hobel.
Overall, you’ll like this album if you enjoy Clear Channel’s idea of hard rock/metal. But chances are, if you’re reading this webzine, you don’t listen to contemporary rock radio; therefore, you won’t be likely to find much value in milquetoast warbling of BACK FROM ASHES.
3.The Suffering Within
5.Pull the Trigger
6.Welcome to Me
Vocals – Jason Hobel
Guitar – Mike Butikofer
Guitar – Matt Manion
Bass – Lane Lariviere
Drums – Steve Belcastro
by Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus