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Album Review: From Ashes To New - 'Day One'

1 March 2016 | 3:59 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Electronicore, rap vocals, chugged guitars? Yep. It's a nu-metal revival band.

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Linkin Park. Breaking Benjamin. KoЯn. What do they all have in common? They are (still) among some of the most well-known names in the US nu-metal scene. Down-tuned guitars, semi-harsh vocals, catchy hooks with jaded lyrics, but, most importantly, a noticeable influence from electronic/hip-hop acts, what we thought was dead in the early 2000’s is still alive and thriving in 2016. From Ashes to New are the latest to jump on the genre wagon with their debut album ‘Day One’.

The record has exactly what you’d expect from a nu-metal album released in this post-Asking Alexandria world. Metalcore-type riffs, in your face synth lines and a mix of both catchy cleans and aggressive vocals. The instrumentation is relatively basic, with chugged guitars, lowly bass lines and drum parts, which, sadly, are nothing new. In saying that, however, there are some entertaining fills here and there, highlighting Tim D'Onofrio as the linchpin of the band.

Moreover, the vocals on ‘Day One’ fluctuate between impressive and lame, with the songs that involve strange pop vocal melodies or rapping, in particular, so overdone and cheesy. To Chris Musser's credit, his voice is reminiscent of a young Matt Tuck, and that’s something worthy of regard. Additionally, there are some angst influenced, edgy, and underwhelming lyrics on this album that only a teenager will love.

Day One’ seems to follow some (unintended) weird formula, which gives you a good song then a not so good one, and then another good one and then...well, you get the point. The more electronic-influenced songs are what kill the release. Lead single 'Same Old Story' is a legitimate dubstep/metal crossover. What is this? 2009? When done right, the mix between electronic and metalcore/heavy metal can be quite effective, but in the case of FATN, there’s nothing new happening. They’re recycling everything you heard in 1998, 2003 and then once again in 2007, merely under a new packaging. Listeners will definitely find a few bangers throughout, such as ‘Face the Day’, an intensely heavy tune with a ripper of a chorus. Similarly, the album’s intro track ‘Land of Make Believe’ is another tick. Honestly, for its other shortcomings, this album is catchy, if nothing else.

From Ashes To New aren’t anything fresh. Fortunately for them though, the US nu-metal scene is always hungry for new bands to froth over (see: FFDP and more recently Nothing More). These guys will undoubtedly be at the top of the SiriusXM Octane charts in no time. If you’re keen on all things nu-metal, give ‘Day One’ a play - it’s a must listen for anyone keen on the genre.

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1. Land of Make Believe

2. Farther From Home

3. Lost and Alone

4. Shadows

5. Thought It All

6. Face The Day

7. Downfall

8. Breaking Now

9. Every Second

10. Same Old Story

11. You Only Die Once