Chelsea Grin

Ashes To Ashes

Written by: EL on 18/08/2014 14:15:28

Hailing from Salt Lake City, deathcore boys Chelsea Grin are back again with their newest fifteen (yes, fifteen) track album, "Ashes To Ashes". This being their third album release a lot is expected from Chelsea Grin to shake off their previous clichéd and stereotypical deathcore cloak which we saw repeated in “My Damnation” and their follow up EP, “Evolve”.

My overall first impression of "Ashes To Ashes" was that Chelsea Grin had really gone back to basics and started from scratch again. As a result they have gone on to carefully craft a somewhat different sounding Chelsea Grin through the newly introduced use of melodies, classical instruments and electronic symphonies as well as a new guitar trio. It is a pleasant change to see the mixing of two vocalists mirroring each other with frontman Alex Koeler’s ear splitting highs and drummer Pablo Viveros’ lung burning lows, but that is unfortunately not enough to rely on and at this point I’m hoping that I will hear a change, otherwise this listen is going to make for a very, VERY long hour.

I was thrilled to hear the use of poetic chorus lines layered on top of the eerily beautiful tones played throughout the record, most notably at the halfway point with “…To Ashes”. This song plays with a range of sounds and techniques’ including the overly intense blast beats from Viveros and the highly skilled guitar solos and riffs of Jason Richardson, whose incredible skill is evident throughout the album. Having said this, I do feel that the over usage of Richardson’s talents slightly thins out the rest of the record and that perhaps the band have relied too heavily on his talents only to let their own skills fade because of this. That is not to say however that I have not thoroughly enjoyed the usage of three guitarists as it has allowed them to create some exceptional layering throughout the album. Where the album tends to dip and falter is with tracks like “Angels Shall Sin, And Demons Shall Pray”, and “Pledge Of Allegiance”. They lack depth and character, and fall victim to the aforementioned cliché of heavy chugging, breakdown-laden drivel that we have heard a thousand times before.

Straight after “Pledge of Allegiance” comes the poetically intricate musings of “Morte Ætérna” and later on that of “Letters”. “Morte Ætérna” starts off with the soothing and light sounds of an acoustic guitar which is a refreshing surprise from Chelsea Grin, though fear not for you are about to be smacked in the face with some downright brutal energy a few seconds later. “Letters” plays with the deeply emotional sounds of a piano. These songs make for a redeeming quality in the face of other potentially disastrous tracks. "Ashes to Ashes" would have been so much more enjoyable had they cut it short by half the time though I think for an hours worth of ear blasting, I can safely say that this is still a fine addition to Chelsea Grin’s Discography.

Download: Morte Ætérna, Letters, …To Ashes
For The Fans Of: Suicide Silence, Whitechapel

Release date 08.07.2014
Artery Records

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