Ashes in Vein - Ashes in Vein
Pavement Entertainment
Melodic Death Metal
4 songs (19' 18")
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Andy

Hailing from Junction City, Kansas, Ashes in Vein have released a self-titled EP that is rather impressive. The four songs they give us aren't a hugely original sound, but unlike some of the other melodeath I've listened to lately, it's melodically excellent, filled with In Flames-style twin-guitar riffing and soloing. So far, I like what I'm hearing.

Misery starts out quietly but abruptly flings itself into the melodic death metal fray. Vocalist Tyler Peterson's harsh singing is good, though I'm not as big a fan of the clean parts, which don't support the heaviness of the backing guitars and have an emo edge to them that distracts the listener. Guitarists Jackson Hoyle and Zach Howard are a tight enough duo to be joined at the hip in this production, only separating their two-part harmony for dueling solos with sharp pinch-harmonics. Fight is also a standout, not only for the riffs, but also, oddly, for Peterson's clean singing portions here -- they still sound incongruous, but somehow they go well with the defiant shout of the chorus, which slows down to make its point -- and probably would be a great crowdpleaser on stage. End of Time starts with a gallop that any Iron Maiden fan would be instantly familiar with, but it turns out that that's just the intro; instead, the verse is almost completely without melody and focuses purely on unleashing noisy riffs on the listener, with the melody saved for the chorus. The soloing lasts for a couple of minutes at least here, and in fact, the song mostly consists of solo -- there's barely room for developing much in the way of words in the song --, but in some ways that's part of its charm, and I enjoyed it all the way to the end.

There's a lot of Gothenburg-influenced melodeath out there, but this is some of the most authentic-sounding I've heard in a while. This is just four tracks, and it's clear that Ashes in Vein is still feeling their way around when writing their songs, but it's a very promising start.

Killing Songs :
Misery, Fight
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