SCREAMLITE RECORDS LTD REVIEW FORM
Band Name: City Of Ashes
CD Title: When Black Fuels Blood
Press Pack Included: Yes
Review: This EP was sent in the post by the band. This included a handwritten letter giving brief information about the band, where they have played and how to get in contact with them. This small package also included a promo photo of the band. This handwritten letter was more personal than an email and shows the band have taken the time to sort something out for us and I’m sure they would do the same for any other promotional material.
This EP goes right for the jugular instantly with “The Art Of Opacity.” After the inventive intro, the tempo starts high and continues with a solid metal drumbeat which is not afraid to deviate from the standard beat pattern with fills and rolls to compliment the heavy guitars and passionate vocals. This track really gets the listener going before running smoothly into a slightly more downbeat number called “In The Cold Light Of Day...” The clean guitar for the verses is crisp and actually clean, whereas some “clean,” guitar sounds can still distort. This guitar keeps a great rhythm while the lead guitar uses tremolo picking and inverted chords to create another layer to the track, as do the vocal overdubs which are used throughout the chorus. The drums are again solid if not overly spectacular, something which is a good thing in this nu metal/punk metal genre. Third track “Between A Rock & Her Razor,” seems to have been turned down in the mixing process as it does take a little bit of concentration to hear it as it should be heard, but the performance is once again top notch, with everyone well drilled at their jobs, so this can just be fixed with a little bit of TLC on the desk. Final track “Butterflies & Barflies,” is another acoustic/clean number with a very folksy rhythm and the stripped vocals. Both guitar and vocals are isolated yet still together in the mix, every note of the guitar is heard without any trouble and every intonation of the voice is audible too while the interplay between the 2 is exquisite.
All in all, a fantastic EP from City Of Ashes. This is a band who like to experiment with their genre, not letting themselves be tied down to one way of playing.