Artist: Ash the Sky
Album: This is Reality
Label: Independent (Self Released)
Date of Release: February 13, 2013
1. Poverty Of The Mind
2. Another Chance To Kill
3. Close My Eyes
4. No Mercy
6. This Is Reality
7. Let Freedom Ring
8. I Scream Vengeance
9. Truth, Lies, Reality
10. Wake Up
Following on from the 3 track EP released in 2012, Michael Felder’s “Ash the Sky” are back with their more “In your face”, more technical and more rounded metal album. Combining the strengths from the EP, we are given more examples of well-placed Phrasing, Shredding, Technical Progressions, and the most ‘Off the wall’ examples of harmonies one person could simply handle.
Starting off with the high-octane “Poverty Of The Mind”, we are thrown head first into the pure unrelenting progressions of gruff-vocal expressions not too distant from the great “Byron Davis”. Adding the speed of the drums and tonalities of the guitars, this is a great introduction to the album.
Bringing in the heaviness with “Another Chance To Kill” and the technicalities of “Close My Eyes” you really are left wanting more. The interesting combination of guitar harmonies and pure heaviness is not to be missed nor misunderstood. Introducing the beautiful rich intense solos and very well abused Whammy pedals and you feel a little smile creep on over.
Straight into the craziness of “No Mercy” and apart from the obvious “Testament” feeling, this track really does give the listener everything from Epic drums and choruses, to pure driven riffs and beautifully created solos. Possibly the greatest track on the album so far!
The intro to “Conflikt” is fantastic, very close to the Gothic horrors of the 20th century. This track has the ‘edge’ element which really takes the listener on an interesting journey inside the music and mind of Felder. Again, with the blasts of the kick drums and the Dethklok feel, this track is simply brilliant.
So, we’re half way through the album now and it only gets better as we progress.
Into the album track “This is Reality”, and as far as death metal goes, this is about as well-crafted as it gets. The mix between the growls and the heaviness in the guitars is sublime. Add to this the interestingly placed solo which slows the track down very slightly, with the double delay and echoes are really quite haunting. This is a great example of how far death metal has come over the years and how much further music, as a whole, has progressed.
Into “Let Freedom Ring” with the progressions and combinations of heaviness meets more heaviness is a great way start any track, however as you progress further you start to fall into the madness behind the track. The solo didn’t appeal to me on this track as it felt misplaced, but as a whole, the track is interesting.
Track after track this album just gets better and better, with the most technical and heavy phrasing combinations anyone could expect to hear. Mix up the songs and solos with Wah’s, Delay, and Harmony driven sequences and you really do have an amazing listening experience.
If you like Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, In Flames, At The Gates, God Forbid, Arch Enemy, then you’ll enjoy this album with all its technicalities and impressions.
Michael j Felder – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Chris Morgan – Bass