Chelsea Grin - Ashes to Ashes
Record Label: Artery Recordings
Release Date: July 8, 2014
“Nothing will ever beat My Damnation!”
“Evolve sucked. Is Chelsea Grin a shitty melodic metalcore band now?”
Now that that’s taken care of, let’s discuss Ashes to Ashes. It’s really good. While hardcore fans will bitch and moan at the less heavy direction the band has taken, nearly every other aspect of the band has been improved upon. The songwriting is tighter, the instrumentals are far more technical and interesting, the lyrics…well the lyrics are still shit, BUT that doesn’t take away from the fact that Ashes to Ashes is thematic, relatively diverse, and the best album that Chelsea Grin has ever made.
While the band has not completely abandoned their roots, they have added elements that keep things fresh. Violins, orchestral moments, a truly beautiful piano interlude, and background choirs all help to make the album a layered experience. Even with these additions, Chelsea Grin is still very heavy. Not leaving their death metal influences, blast beat and double kick drumming, deep growling vocals, heavy breakdowns, and distorted guitars can be found throughout Ashes to Ashes, predominately on tracks like “Playing with Fire,” “Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray,” and “Morte ætérna.”
However, not everything has improved as the lyrics still sound like they were written by a really pissed off teenager. Songs like “Sellout” ("Stop your bullshit, shut your mouth, you’re overrated and foul, fuck you") and “Waste Away” ("Help me, dear god won’t someone help me to stop the bleeding. Please someone, take my hand, my thoughts misleading") show that the band has a long way to go with their lyricism.
Ashes to Ashes can also drag. At just over an hour long with 15 songs, four of them being more than five minutes, it seems like Chelsea Grin is trying a little too hard to be epic. For such a technical, fast-paced album, it’s disappointing and boring to have breakdowns for over a minute or 30-second lead-ins to the next song.
Even with these problems, Ashes to Ashes is plain awesome. After hearing tracks like the massive, technical instrumental “…To Ashes” My Damnation seems like old, boring news. The lyrics are still terrible and things can drag for a bit, but Chelsea Grin has gained a dedicated fan with this album. If they can make things more concise and write decent lyrics, LP 4 will be phenomenal.
This review is a user submitted review from Niko John. You can see all of Niko John's submitted reviews here.
Great review. Evolve is a favorite EP of mine and this CD is contending for my AOTY... Tracks 7-15 are flawless, especially the last three.
Lyrics are often bad, but they do have some gems scattered throughout; "The only demon I believe in is myself!", and "Come to me with bloodlust/Let me quench your thirst/Black roses fall around us/Let me be your first", where, when in context with the song, are pure evil. Love it.