Ashes of Ares
Ashes of Ares
Company: Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Greg Watson
Ashes of Ares...when the title track started, the voice that came blaring through my speakers was eerily familiar. After listening intently for a few moments and doing some research, I discovered that this voice was the resurgence of Matt Barlow accompanied by former Nevermore drummer Van Williams and former Iced Earth bassist Freddie Vidales. Ashes of Ares usher in a rebirth that is phoenix-like for these metal warriors.
AoA self-titled album is an amalgam of the band members' time served in established bands as well as an infusion of their own styles. From the opening track "The Messenger" through the final track "The One Eyed King", AOA shows that they've honed their power metal skills. It's obvious by the vocals of Barlow that he has been keeping up his vocal practices. He wails and bellows in a voice reminiscent of his Iced Earth days while also throwing in some more guttural growls that really caught me off guard. Williams' drumming is just as solid as it was with Nevermore, if not better. Pound for pound, these songs can stand up with any of the modern or older power metal bands out there. My favorite track on the album is a ballad called "The Answer"; I feel it captures the essence of the band and features all of their strengths.
Power metal fans, Nevermore fans and Iced Earth fans should definitely go out and pick this album up. For those of you wishing to see the band live, they will be performing at this year's ProgPower Festival. Don't miss this band or this album.
About this Writer:Greg Watson
// Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.