This Dying Hour – Resting Where No Shadows Fall

this-dying-hour-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

In many ways you could say that Resting Where No Shadows Fall, the eagerly anticipated debut album from British metallers This Dying Hour has been ten years in the making. Formed at the beginning of 2006 and swiftly impressing with their debut EP, the High Wycombe outfit has endured a decade littered with setbacks “that were just too great to overcome; everything from death and marriage to money came between the band and its members.” Now they are back and with a release which feels like it carries all the emotions and frustrations felt over that time; an album which ignites ears and imaginations with invention and passion.

That first year of the band produced the Longest Memory From The Shortest Life EP, a well-received and often praised introduction. It was accompanied by tours throughout the UK and Europe as well as shows with the likes of Young Guns, Sylosis, Bury Tomorrow, Malefice, and Exit Ten. The years since, as mentioned, brought This Dying Hour to a standstill until this year when vocalist Dave Pickup and guitarist Ash Whitelock decided to spark the band into life again with the help of “rotating members to fill the void.” Now they have made the wait for the next instalment of This Dying Hour adventure a forgotten moment as Resting Where No Shadows Fall seriously impresses ears and thoughts.

The album opens with its brief title track, an atmospheric instrumental which draws the imagination, leading it into the waiting jaws of War Drums. The second track instantly makes its point with scything riffs and beats, their imposing swipes aligned to a nagging raw melody before things all comes together in a predacious stalking of the senses. The snarling tones of Pickup are soaked in raw emotion and ire, a potency matched by Whitelock’s irritable guitar and the rhythmic antagonism of the track. It not may be the most unique proposal, references to the likes of Lamb Of God and Killswitch Engage valid, yet the song has a freshness which roars in ears and only blossoms further as a cleaner touch invades the vocal incitement.

The impressive start continues as Asleep springs its wiry grooves and vocal hostility next. Swiftly the song shows its distinct and individual character to be a diversity of intensity and energy, all soaked in venom as it seizes attention and a growing appetite for the release. Clean vocals and great dirty harmonies bring stronger drama and quality, as too the enterprising craft of Whitelock as the song bellows and challenges in equal enjoyable measure.

this-dying-hour-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewPath Of Unknown opens with a melodic atmosphere similar to the opening intro, sunken vocals courting the initial lure before the song opens up into a striking and thrilling encounter. The mellower tones of Pickup predominantly stir the song this time around, luring with the listener alongside spicy melodies into one ridiculously infectious chorus and subsequently a great passage of calm reflection with a touch of Palms to it. One of the biggest highlights among many, the outstanding proposal is followed by the far more hostile climate and sound of Time To Die, though it too is unafraid to cast warm melodies and catchy clean vocals. A rival for best track to match its predecessor, the song completes a first half of Resting Where No Shadows Fall which simply blows most other emerging melodic/groove metallers away.

There is little loosening of attention and pleasure either as first the darker sinister realm of Underworld encloses and encroaches on the senses. Certainly the track is a touch hit and miss, moments which stir the blood and others which lie a touch flat on thoughts but arguably it is the most inventive proposition on the album as it ensnares the imagination while Alive is as accomplished as anything within Resting Where No Shadows Fall at blending the calmer and fiercer emotional and physical exploits of band and songwriting. Though both are lacking the spark of earlier songs, each leaves a real want for more which Priapism feeds with its melody rich charm and fiery temperament.

The album closes on the same kind of explosive sound and impact as it started, Room 108 a volatile and often corrosive encounter with sparkling moments of vocal invention and melodic imagination seemingly inspired by a mix of System Of A Down, Deftones, and In Flames.

It is a great end to an excellent first album from a band making up for lost time in passion and invention. With the potential of bigger and bolder to come, it is very easy to push Resting Where No Shadows Fall as something all should make an acquaintance with.

Resting Where No Shadows Fall is out in stores from Friday 30th September.

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Pete RingMaster 28/09/2016

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City Of Ashes – Rise

City Of Ashes_RingMasterReview

Making a big impression with their well-received debut album back in 2013, UK alternative rock band City Of Ashes now release its successor Rise; an encounter easy to imagine finding an equal if not bigger success. Consisting of eleven heart bred and melodically provocative tracks, the album confirms and pushes on the promise of predecessor All We Left Behind. In some ways, the band’s sound has not made any major leaps from the last album, or the EP before it, yet there is an open new maturity to songwriting and the bolder emotive imagination involved which alone grabs attention.

Since forming in 2009 and releasing the Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness EP, with All We Left Behind swiftly following, City Of Ashes has played all across the UK, sharing stages with the likes of Skindred, Exit Ten, Polar, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Fei Comodo, Hildamay, and Young Guns along the way. Subsequent performances on their tour with Trapt only enhanced a reputation already ripe through their first album. Now it is the self-released Rise about to lure fresh attention the way of the Eastbourne quartet; an aim, as suggested earlier, easy to see succeeding to some potent degree.

Uprising is first up and swiftly lays an evocative melodic caress on ears as darker hues bring just as alluring shadows. The impressive vocals of Orion Powell quickly add their prowess backed by great band harmonies. The track is only a brief lure into the album but an attention grabbing one setting up the appetite for the following Vipers Nest. A sonic web of hooks and riffs descend on the senses first as the firm beats of Dan Russell make a thick impact with the brooding bass line of Dan Frederick in close attention. Soon bound in the melodic enterprise of James Macdonald and coloured by the expressive tones of Powell, the song easily catches the imagination with a touch of Placebo meets Manic Street Preachers to its broader alternative rock character.

RISE Artwork_RingMasterReviewBoth Battles Of My Youth and Walk Away keep the strong start going; the first with its anthemic roar and intimate tone amidst vocal and melodic suggestiveness whilst the second shares even more intensive angst in its melancholic cry. Again Powell impresses; the drama of his delivery an emotive flame within the more subdued but no less enticing rhythms and the creative adventure of Macdonald’s fingers on strings.

A delicious brooding bassline and core riff marks out Bittersweet next, that and a climatic feel to its emotional and sonic intensity, whilst Save Me carries a lively simmer to its bubbly melodies and crisp beats to equally grip ears and appetite. Whether there are any major surprises within the songs and indeed album can be argued, but each offering has something fresh and imaginative to its character and invention which draws attention easily as here or greedily as by the outstanding Iliad. Unstoppably emerging the album’s favourite track, it is a haunted and darkly lit proposal with a slow prowl as portentous as it is inviting. Matching his surroundings, Powell’s voice also ebbs and flows in raw emotion as rhythms and riffs border on stalking the senses. Provocative theatre in the ears, the song simply steals the show.

Bloodlust has a similarly hued nature to its canvas but a far lighter and vivacious air to its emotive outpouring and subsequent fiery expulsions whilst Sometimes provides a croon fuelled by apprehensive words and emotions cradled in orchestral like melodic sensitivity. Both songs keep enjoyment high before Confessions raises the album’s game again with its earnest roar.

Closing with the sober but potent sharing of the heart that is We Own The Night, band and album leaves pleasure a strong reaction to its imaginative and tenacious endeavours. Rise is a strong continuation of the band’s previous releases, if not a dramatic leap forward. As suggested earlier though, it is a more rounded and mature adventure embracing all the already recognised City Of Ashes qualities and more; and their most impressive outing yet.

Rise is out now @ http://cityofashes.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 25/03/2016

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All To Ruin – Among Us

All To Ruin Promo Picture

Back in 2013, Welsh melodic metallers All To Ruin made their introduction with the Parables EP, a striking collection of songs whose only real issue was a sound which lay comfortably within that of the crowd. The suggestion and potential though was that the band would evolve into something much more distinct in time. Now the Port Talbot band return with its successor Among Us with the first question in anticipation of its release being had All To Ruin found that unique identity. Certainly in adventure, craft, and maturity, the band’s sound has openly leapt on, but in originality it is a bit of yes and no. A familiarity to bands such as Funeral For A Friend, Protest The Hero, and at times August Burns persists but it is now coloured with a freshness and creative tenacity which makes the band’s sound linger and take on a more individual character. All To Ruin is still searching for that real originality it is fair to say but as you get caught up in their powerful anthemic choruses and the fiery passion of vocals and sound, that moment in time belongs solely to them.

Formed in 2011 and with a demo under their belts by the end of that first year, All To Ruin swiftly lured attention from fans and media alike. It was Parables which lit an even stronger awareness and following, backed as potently by live performances which has taken the band to play over the past four years with the likes of The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Exit Ten, Textures, Continents, Sylosis, The Chariot, Revoker, The Casino Brawl…well the list goes on and on. Entering the studio, as with their last EP, with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond (Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine), All To Ruin reveal a bigger, bolder, and more flavoursome sound in Among Us with, as earned by the earlier release, similar if not greater responses expected in return.

All To Ruin Cover Art     The EP opens with Take The Reins and instantly encases ears in spicy grooves, hungry riffs, and punchy rhythms. Vocalist Aaron Roberts just as quickly brings his impressive voice to the affair whilst the guitar of Rhodri Williams provides a spiral of sonic enterprise and temptation. That new strength in songwriting and sound needs little prompting to show itself, as too a bolder imagination as the song slips into a gentle melodic embrace of voice and guitar. The thick swipes and rolls of drummer Tom Richardson keep an aggression bubbling though, eventually becoming the spark for a return of the opening impassioned roar of the encounter.

It is heavily enticing start to Among Us taken up another level by its title track straight after. Jabbing beats and a dark throaty bassline from Dan George provide the initial bait, their intimidation swiftly wrapped in the sonic tendrils of guitar. It all evens out as a warmer but no less imposing weave of increasingly gripping melodic adventure unites with the tempestuous and intensive rhythmic side of the proposition. There is also a drama to the song, emotionally and physically, which reveals more of the inventive and mature edge to the band’s creativity. An orchestral seducing in the background of the song helps that theatre arise as it flirts throughout, and once given its clarity, simply captivates in the finale of the excellent song.

Certainly there are plenty of recognisable elements on the two songs so far, but in reality that kind of applies to most releases these days, and as mentioned when songs like Among Us and the following Disconnect bellow with passion and imagination, it is predominantly a flavouring which only adds to the enjoyment. The third song brings a similar canvas to the previous track, an emotive orchestral colouring immersing the imagination as rhythms plunder the senses and vocals unleash the heart of the proposal. Aggressive and reflective simultaneously, the track spins another intriguing web of sparkling endeavour soaked in familiarity though it reveals itself to be even stronger in enterprise and emotion.

Aggression fuels History next, the best song on the EP driven by a creative snarl and provocative energy spawned by carnivorous riffs and uncompromising rhythms. Rather than being tempered this is complimented by the blistering sonic exploits cast by the guitars and the inventive twists further stirring up an already explosive song. On the last EP there was one song which stood out and pushed the envelope on the release and on Among Us it is History.

The EP comes to an end through Beneath The Steel Sky, a blaze of melodic rock which like a friend wraps enjoyably around ears and feeds the appetite. As shown here, technically the band has grown impressively as they have in songwriting and sound, but it is the imagination which lines every song which most stands out even if uniqueness is taking longer to come through. As with Parables though, Among Us suggests it is looming and closer still, but again the reality is that as songs consume ears and imagination only thorough enjoyment is the outcome.

The Among Us EP is available from April 27th via http://www.alltoruin.bigcartel.com/ and through all stores.

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RingMaster 27/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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ASCENDING MELODIC METAL CREW ALL TO RUIN RETURN WITH NEW EP!

All To Ruin Online Promo Picture

With a melting pot of influences stemming from August Burns Red and Protest The Hero, All To Ruin continue their climb with their own brand of melodic metal that blends blistering riffage against catchy hooks. The rising crew nationally release their spanking new EP ‘Among Us’ on Monday 27th April.

Hailing from the blue collar steel works town of Port Talbot, South Wales, All To Ruin were born in 2011 and quickly became a force to be reckoned with. By the end of the year, the band began work on their first demo, which happily secured national attention from Kerrang! Magazine. A series of successful shows followed before the band headed into the studio with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond, whose previous credits include Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine. The tuneful metallers came out of the studio with a cracking debut EP in hand. The five-some dropped the record in 2013 and it firmly stamped All To Ruin on the map. The EP picked up glowing reviews and support from Rock Sound Magazine, Metal Hammer, Big Cheese, Powerplay, XFM Rock show and Team Rock Radio.

In addition to picking up critical acclaim for their recorded work, the band also have an impressive live CV to date, having played shows with The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Exit Ten, Textures, Viatrophy, Continents, Sylosis, The Chariot, Revoker, The Casino Brawl, Twin Zero, Bury Tomorrow and Yashin.

2015 looks ripe for the band to transcend the underground, and they are loaded with their explosive new EP ‘Among Us’. Opener ‘Take The Reins’ gets the ball rolling in supreme style with its crunching techy riff assault pitched by Aaron Roberts’ hugely infectious vocal lines that will bed down deep into your pores. The EP’s namesake ‘Among Us’ is another impressive nugget of melodic metal with its thunderous riffery and layered texturing. ‘Disconnect’ and ‘History’ offer up additional evidence that the South Wales metallers really have an arsenal of banging tunes at their disposal. Lastly, ‘Beneath The Steel Sky’ completes the record with its stunning muscular delivery and killer refrain. Stay tuned to the band’s Facebook page for tour announcements and show updates; big things are going to happen ……
All To ruin PromoImage
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-ALL TO RUIN RELEASE ‘AMONG US’ ON MONDAY 27th APRIL THROUGH ALL STORES-

Unforseen Prophecy – Burn The Skies

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Opening up the 2015 with a reboot of their second EP Burn The Skies, UK metallers Unforseen Prophecy are seemingly poised to awaken a greedy spotlight on their rather flavoursome sound. The three track encounter, without quite managing to find a striking uniqueness, leaves ears hungry and satisfaction full as it brews up a raw and potent blend of inspirations from the likes of Devildriver, Lamb Of God, and Malefice with a Lacuna Coil like melody and harmony rich temptation. Burn The Skies does not quite set the heart racing it is fair to say but certainly it sparks an increasingly eager appetite to thoroughly explore the Kent quintet and their accomplished invention.

Formed in 2010, Unforseen Prophecy has earned a strong live reputation, taking in shows with the likes of Malefice, Exit Ten, Silent Descent, Beholder, Bull Riff Stampede, Evil Scarecrow, and Seven Deadly along the way. Equally their five track debut EP Without Consequence stirred up keen support and attention from its release in 2012 whilst last year saw the band win the Kent Metal 2 the Masses competition which led to a successful appearance at Bloodstock. Burn The Skies revealed upon its initial release a potent step forward in the band’s imaginative songwriting and resourceful sound and its nationwide unveiling this month has the potential to open the strongest awareness of the exciting band yet.

New single and the EPs title track opens up the encounter and instantly has ears ringing and anticipation aflame as a vocal roar from Paul Wells is matched in intensity and appeal by a cover_240stamping stride of angry riffs and threatening rhythms. Bound in an equally addictive grooving it is an empowering and thrilling entrance to Burn The Skies which dips slightly when it relaxes for the entrance of the alluring melodic voice of rhythm guitarist Charis Pattison, though Wells is still there challenging with his great abrasing tones. The song is soon back in control of senses and imagination as the excellent creative swings of drummer Russ Edwards are courted by thick enticements from the guitar of Aaron Jones and bass shadows provided by Paul Gills. The song continues to flirt and intimidate with anthemic persuasion and enthralling enterprise. As the EP, arguably the song is not offering anything strikingly new but for technical craft and untainted enjoyment it leaves no doubts.

The following groove laden stroll of The Placebo Effect keeps things on a high, though it takes a little longer to grip compared to the more instant success of its predecessor. Wells is soon raging across its stirring canvas of aggressive sound and resourcefulness, the guitars a busy harrying of ears whilst rhythms are as predacious as the grooves are virulent. Unrelenting in its examination and stalking of senses and thoughts, the track emerges as our favourite confrontation upon Burn The Skies though the opening melodic charm of Oblivion soon makes a seductive argument. With the vocals of Pattison ebbing in potency at times though, and the fury of the track missing the spark of the other two incitements upon the EP, the song pleases without raising the same excitement and ardour. Technically the song is as riveting and impressive as ever though, revealing more of the band’s tenacious and imaginative enterprise ensuring the release ends on a strong if not dramatic high.

Whether Burn The Skies will open up the doorway to the major awareness it is easy to feel the band is destined to walk through of course only time will tell but it does mark Unforeseen Prophecy down as a band UK metal will be eagerly embracing sooner rather than later.

The Burn The Skies EP is released nationwide on January 5th through all digital platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/unforeseenprophecy

RingMaster 03/01/2015

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When We Were Wolves – Heartless

When We Were Wolves

At the end of our review of the deeply pleasing The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same EP from Welsh post hardcore band When We Were Wolves, we added that this was “still a band in the making”. Now the Bridgend quintet unleash its successor in the stunning shape of Heartless to show that they are a creative tempest which has arrived at its first pinnacle whilst still offering the potential of even greater things to come. The five track fury of invention and intensity is a startling encounter exploring a broader and more mature landscape than its predecessor yet still passionately driven by the band’s now distinctive and imaginative post hardcore intent.

Formed in 2011, When We Were Wolves has built a rich reputation for their live presence, which has seen them play alongside the likes of Bury Tomorrow, The Blackout, Devil Sold His Soul, Malefice, Born Of Osiris, Exit Ten, Betraying The Martyrs, Martyr Defiled, and Carcer City. Add that to the success of The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same and it is fair to say that anticipation for its successor was ripe and full, a hunger swiftly sufficed as Heartless rampages through the ears.

Opening track Dying On The Inside straight away lays a feisty glaze of riffs over ears, their lure fusing a punk and metal attraction before the rampaging beats of drummer Josh Baker uncage their full weight upon the sonic turbulence. The bass of Matt Shaw prowls the gripping brawl of sound with relish whilst vocalist Mitch Bock roars with emotion and animosity. Riffs and grooves spill equal animosity through the craft and invention of guitarists Steve French and Rhod Evans too, their intensive proposal alone creating a riveting baiting of thoughts and emotions within the song. It is a stunning start to the EP, the track twisting and embracing the senses with enthralling imagination whilst further inescapable temptation is expelled through the outstanding and impressive vocal delivery of Bock. Like a collision between While She Sleeps and Slipknot with a twist of Cancer Bats, the song is an irresistible contagion.

Coating ears in an initial melodic yet fiery embrace, the next up The Devil You Know soon twists into a ferocious beast of vocal hostility and sonic antagonism. It is a demanding and compelling start but taken to another level as Bock PromoImageunveils more of his superb clean and melody rich vocals which had already enhanced its predecessor. Equipped and skilled to merge both extremes, he proves himself on Heartless to be one of the more exciting frontmen around. An essence of Dead Til Friday prompts thoughts towards the song but again a mere whisper to a sound undeniably belonging to When We Were Wolves. Predatory and seductive, it is a riveting adventure matched immediately by the voracious Blind. A sonic haze starts it off before grooves come out of the woodwork with insidious intent as pounding rhythms bring their equally enslaving thunderous textures. Vocals also explode with wide variety and unbridled passion across the destructive maelstrom smothering the senses. It is an exceptional savagery with a lingering spite ensuring it is one of the pinnacles of the release.

The following Confession takes its spark from the previous track, staggered riffs and venomous grooves an intensive and welcome intrusion as rhythms cast their heavyweight provocation. There is no respite from the vocals either initially, the fighting tones of Bock showing no mercy until his seamless slip into the equally impacting clean and velvet delivery he possesses. The encounter is a masterfully invigorating tempest which like most of the songs, perfectly sculpts its relatively brief length for the most dramatic impact before making way for the closing title track. Lighter in its presence in comparison to the last couple of tracks, Heartless is a radiantly emotive song, a melodically fired croon of sonic enterprise and vocal intensity which steals attention and ardour with Bock again exceptional though well-matched by the skilled sonic and rugged rhythmic charm of the rest of the band.

The Heartless EP is a major triumph for When We Were Wolves and the British post hardcore scene. The Welsh band has not only found its own voice but set out a new vat of promise and invention to inspire even greater anticipation for their next offerings.

The Heartless EP is available digitally through all stores on Monday 22nd September.

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RingMaster 21/09/2014

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City Of Ashes – All We Left Behind

City Of Ashes Online Promo Shot

Alternative rock band City Of Ashes started off the year in fine style with their debut EP, a release rich in promise and accomplished craft to suggest the UK band as a bright emerging spark in British rock. Now the Sussex quartet are seeing out the other end of 2013 with an equally attention grabbing release in first album All We Left Behind. Consisting of twelve vibrantly emotive and melodically potent tracks, the release is a continuation of the introduction made through the Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness EP. It may be a small expansion of the impressive starter but makes a firm confirmation of the band’s strengths whilst providing an engaging presence.

Formed in 2009, the Eastbourne band took little time in honing their sound and taking it to stages across the South East and subsequently the country. Simultaneously their fanbase rose as the band shared stages with bands such as Skindred, Exit Ten, Polar, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Fei Comodo, Hildamay, Young Guns and many more. The Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness EP brought Orion Powell (vocals), James Macdonald (guitar), Dan Frederick (bass), and Dan Russell (drums) into sharper focus within a brewing awareness of their expressively impacting sounds as paraded on the release and you can only suspect that the returning Matt O’Grady (Deaf Havana, You Me At Six, Don Broco) produced album will reinforce and push further that recognition.

It is fair to say that All We Left Behind has not made a major leap on from its impressive predecessor but certainly shows that City Of Ashes Cover Artworkthe band has a range of songwriting depths and songs which have a wide high quality base to spring from. From the short intro instrumental Initia, the album flows into the dramatic Ode To Innocence. Guitars coax the ears in sonic angst from the start whilst the compelling bass line seeds strong intrigue into the emotive narrative of the song musically and vocally. There is a Placebo edge to the sound and voice of Powell, as well as a feel of Mind Museum and Funeral For A Friend which adds spice to the strong voice and design of the song. It is a smouldering enticement with fiery bursts of passion which only accentuates its persuasion and makes a deeply satisfying start.

Next up Falling Star takes things up another level, the guitar coaxing which starts things off immediately riveting and soon given extra potency as persistent beats and the continually engaging vocals of Powell join the tempting. The first stretch of the song reminds of Waiting For The Weekend by The Vapors but soon finds its distinct character as the guitars expands their melodic arms and intensity unveils its weight and emotion. The song never explodes into dramatic action but offers a persistent almost nagging declaration which is very easy to devour and want more of.

Both Recovery and In Retrospect present a lingering enticement, the first a gently building slice of hard/alternative rock with a slight Manic Street Preachers essence to its evocative flavouring and the second a reserved stroll of provocative melodic textures and emotional bait. Neither matches the opening pair of songs but still continues the album’s weighty call upon thoughts and appetite whilst The Highest Point Of Living provides a tender ballad of fine vocals and chilled guitar suasion which from a decent start grows bigger and more impressive, especially through melancholic strings and the excellent tones of Powell, alongside band harmonies. It is a song which inspires tingles in its latter climactic parts and leaves the senses and emotions ignited in appreciation and pleasure. The song seeps into next up Brand New World where the band creates another healthy slice of alternative rock with a melodic pop glaze. It does not set fires in the passions but still adds to the flavoursome richness flowing through the release.

Across the likes of Decay and Dorian Gray, City Of Ashes keeps attention firmly locked in their direction even if the album has lost some of the potency found in its first half, the skill of the band and the craft of songs an attractive constant. Alongside those though the rhythmic tantalising of Masks and Waves, with its dark prowling shadows provided by the bass a conflicting yet complimenting union with the sonic breeze and melodic stream of invention, bring All We Left Behind to a formidable closure. The album leaves a strong taste for City Of Ashes and their inventive sound even if maybe it does not have that spark or ingredient yet to send the passions into full ardour. The feeling that this trigger is waiting within the band’s horizons is impossible to dismiss and something to add spice to the suspected rise of one very promising band.

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7/10

RingMaster 11/11/2013

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