Ashes Of Ares – “Ashes Of Ares”

Ashes Of Ares – “Ashes Of Ares” (Nuclear Blast Records)

Searing modern heavy metal from Iced Earth’s vocalist Matthew Barlow! Joined by guitarist Freddie Vidales and ex-Nevermore drummer Van Williams, Ashes Of Ares play it like it used to be, where melody and mayhem erupted in volcanic splendor. Barlow’s high screaming vocals unsurprisingly make Ashes still sound like Iced Earth but I’d say the material is a lot heavier, both in terms of how it’s played and also engineered which is just how old headbangers like me love it. Vidales ably handles the guitar work ranging from acoustic to flowing melodies and of course, firebrand solos while Williams just happily pounds away on songs like ‘Dead Man’s Plight’, ‘On Warrior’s Wings’ and ‘The One Eyed King’. There’s also a definite epic feel to the material, especially in the quieter yet more intensely passionate moments which again harks back to the best traditions of heavy metal making this album one of the finest contemporary releases I’ve heard in a while. These guys are so tight that Ashes Of Ares sound like they’ve been together since the dawn of time, making them a must see band in their moment of history!

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