Ashes To Ashes - Cardinal VII
Gregorian Metal
11 songs (56'06)
Release year: 2002
Ashes To Ashes, DVSRecords
Reviewed by Jack
Album of the month
You guys know I am very fond of the Norwegian metal scene and more particularly bands such as Sirenia, Tristania, The Sins Of Thy Beloved and Myriads. So when I got the promo from this quintet with the information they were hailing from Norway, I have to say I got rather quickly excited. I put the disc into my computer and started listening to the album. I have to say I listened to the first song for a couple of minutes and then stopped it and took the CD out of my computer thinking this was another obscure combo with no real interest and that I would have time to come back to it in a couple of weeks or so. What happened then is that I forgot the promo on the corner of my desk under a bunch of paper and since I am pretty messy, I didn’t notice since that time. A week ago or so a teammate of mine asked me about the promo he had sent me a while ago asking me if I was going to review it or not. So I uncovered part of my mess and found it. So here it is… finally.

Once I have skipped the first song New World Obscure which I don’t like at all, I couldn’t help but remain amazed by the quality of the music this band came up with. I have said once in one of my reviews that Norway must be a gifted country. How come do many of her children come with such an undeniable talent ? Ashes To Ashes has a genuine ability to come up with a strong doom, gothic orientated music that will send for the most part, shivers down your spine. First of all, the vocals are varied and differ from blackish style to the truest gothic style, finally to the best heavy style. Vocalist Kenneth Brastad has a genuinely natural talented organ and succeeds in modulating his voice throughout the different part of this second album. His voice is used as a real instrument which adds something more to their impressive creative music. The music, sometimes calm and soothing such as on the songs Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, or sometimes melodic, majestic and powerful such as on the songs Behind Closed Eyes, Embraced In Black and on the incredible Cardinal VII penetrates me and leaves me enchanted as every song bring a little something unique. The many orchestral interludes bring something more to the album as they carry the listener from one song to another and help him take his breath in between songs. Just as I had described Myriads’ music in my review of their latest album, Ashes To Ashes’ music is also another magnificent musical odyssey that almost left me speechless. However, I would like to see the band emphasize and develop a little further, their unique Gregorian touch. That would make their sound even greater.

This album is definitely strong in emotions and brings a clearly refreshing sound to today’s overcrowded metal scene. I am looking forward to hearing their third album that is supposed to be so important for every band. One of 2002's musical jewels. Do I have to say it is highly recommended everyone gets this as soon as possible? If it has not already been done of course.

Killing Songs :
Cardinal VII, Embraced In Black, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, Behind
Jack quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Ashes To Ashes that we have reviewed:
Ashes To Ashes - Shapes Of Spirits reviewed by Danny and quoted 70 / 100
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