Album Review: Chelsea Grin – "Ashes To Ashes"
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:39:14
Ashes To Ashes sees Chelsea Grin rip like never before.
It rapturously fuses the buzzsaw aggression of the band's earlier output with a more definitive focus, making the album run like freight train hell bent on destruction of the track itself. It's a seminal moment for the group, echoing death metal darkness, metallic grooves, and cathartically chaotic lyricism. It's also an important record for the scene itself, nodding in some ways to Lamb of God's breakout on As the Palaces Burn. Songs like the standout closer "Dust to Dust..." teeter between tight, tough, and technical and leads a haunting harmony and an undeniably potent groove. In some ways, it represents everything the Salt Lake City, UT merchants of mayhem do so well. Alex Koehler sounds frighteningly powerful screaming, "This is what I am", while the guitar work remains nothing short of astounding, especially when punctuated by the keyboards.
At the same time, "Playing With Fire" chugs from a dramatic opening note into a musical bloodbath replete with instrumental firepower and a piercing vocal performance. "Morte ætérna" remains downright engaging, while "Nightmares" lives up to its title. "Letters" conveys a different kind of emotionality as it retains every ounce of the requisite heaviness. As far as 21st century extreme metal goes, Ashes To Ashes is a milestone.
Chelsea Grin deliver on every promise and rise to the top in the process. Be afraid. The future is here...
What's your favorite Chelsea Grin song?