One-man bands don’t often work out very well, because the lone artist has to be able to do literally everything himself. Even the very best songwriters can benefit from collaboration. So, with this in mind, Necronoclast’s Greg Edwards had an uphill battle from the very start, but he has had some time to practice, with three other full-length albums under his belt before Ashes. I do wish that over the years Greg would have realized that the more atmospheric parts of his compositions are the strongest, and in fact can be very impressive. Despite a well-programmed drum machine (no easy task in and of itself), the faster bits of the songs often seem more generically raw Black Metal, and lose quite a bit of the ominous, sorrowful feeling possessed by the slower segments. The title track is perhaps the best blend of speed and atmosphere. Greg’s throat-annihilating vocals are absolutely anguished and work perfectly with the music. Still, Ashes took a few spins (or whatever the fuck ones does with mp3s) for me to digest, and it could easily have been a mess without this imposing production gluing everything together in a way both raw and still somehow clear. As a side note, I think that this is cover-artist Gabriel Byrne’s best painting so far.
Page 1 of 1 pages