When your sole existence as a unit is to, for the most part, pay tribute to the Old School Swedish Death Metal, where do you draw the line between exaltation and expansion? I mean no disrespect to Mr. Death. After all, members of this band were a part of the original movement in the forms of Treblinka and Tiamat (before the latter started playing Ballet Metal). I suppose you can go the Bloodbath route and create Death Metal even the elder gods themselves might not be able to top. But unless Blakkheim’s on your squad, that isn’t a whole hell of a lot likely. So, most of Descending Through Ashes sounds like a band trapped in an idea, afraid to try any new tricks even though an underlying feeling of tension throughout the album suggests they might like to. Their debut full-length, Detached from Life, was a great album with an incredible energy about it that transcended mere nostalgia. It was like some undiscovered gem from the actual early ’90s era. An old timer might say, “They had a lotta spunk.” But this record plods along like a shitty day at work. These 35 minutes feel more like 50. A completely uninspired effort. It does boast an extremely authentic guitar tone, but that only goes so far when you’re not doing anything with it. These guys need to either spice it up or give it up. Shit, I don’t care if you have to write a song about a Marvel Comics character (which is the next logical step in this case, if I remember correctly), do something to light the fire again.
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