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From Thy Ashes
Harbinger
January 2002
Released: 2001, Independent
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Cool band from Germany! I love getting, listening to and reviewing new independent metal bands..they are the future. Although in this case..they are not the future. After I received this excellent CD, From Thy Ashes announced that they have decided to split up.



Why have I decided to review to cool little 3 song EP? As a last little tribute to band that should have and could have been big. Sometimes circumstances beyond control combine to make it impossible for a band to continue and this is one of those sad cases.



The cover of this CD has a locust (or something) trapped in amber. It kinda reminds me of a scene in the movie Jurassic Park, and the band has a tune called “Amberland”, so I suppose in a weird way the Harbinger was fortelling their own doom…



If you want to get this neat piece of underground metal history you can try to contact the band at fromthyashes.de.



Anyway, to my ear the vocalist has a resemblance (vocally) to John Bush. That is a good thing. He’s more of an Armoured Saint era John Bush, vocals filled with emotion and passion without being too forceful or too squeaky in the high register. Great voice. The songs are well constructed complex metal tunes, some hints of progressive, some traditional metal, no one song really outstripping the others in terms of pace or structure. There is a lot of depth inside these songs and they are not an immediate listen, not instantly catchy. Some would say this is a negative point but I feel that tracks that do not conform to the 3.5 minute, 120 beats per minute structure are innovative and interesting.



Sonically, everything is in place, production is fine, maybe a tiny bit flat in places but excellent all round. The lyrics are good, somber, and well done. This is one of those bands that I think would probably cut loose a lot more live. Many bands claim they are better live, but in this case I feel Harbinger probably could inject some more life into these songs in the live environment.



Final analysis: A good band that had great potential, it is a shame they were cut down in their prime but for now these 3 tracks at least are a great listening experience for a more experienced, intelligent metal-head.
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