Over the past 18 months or so, Merseysiders Metallers Ashen Reach have begun to make quite a name for themselves with regular support slots, major festival appearances and an ever-expanding and impassioned fan base.
Words: Sophie James
One only has to notice the numbers that race to the barrier ‘early doors’ at one of their many festival opening appearances to gauge the fervour surrounding this most attention-grabbing and engaging of bands. All this hot on the heels of a simply breathtaking debut album, Homecoming.
Today sees the release of Ghosts, the lead single from their highly anticipated new EP, The Fear. An atmospheric intro, as one might expect, sets the scene as our heroes enter a location of unprecedented paranormal activity. The tranquillity of Paddy’s gentle playing is resoundingly crushed as Jess’ Bass Drum kicks in together with the trademark heavyweight guitar rhythms.
Sitting proudly above this is a distinct melody that provides the hook and the glossy sheen. When Kyle comes in with “I always feel so uneasy”, the sonic progression is underlined by the clarity and projection afforded to the lead vocal.
Already surmising ‘Different but very much Ashen Reach’, there is an advancement in sophistication, incorporating multiple Symphonic Metal influences that never veer too far from their intensely razorlike rhythmic roots. Definitely next-level stuff!
The lyrics are perfectly evocative of the claustrophobic, oppressive atmosphere of that imagined environment. “The air around me is so cold – it’s sending shivers DOWN MY SPINE!!!” Those last three words, accentuated by the backing vocals’ harsher growls, so impeccably symbolise the output of an EVP Recorder.
A fleeting mid-song piano interlude precedes a trademark segment where one can just imagine all the heads oscillating so vigorously at a gig. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is going to be a monster live favourite. The heads will continue to shake throughout the understated solo and beyond. It makes one deliberate, is there a more complementary guitar duo on the rising rock scene than Paddy and Joe?
Ghosts certainly whet the appetite for the ensuing EP, where one wonders what further delights lie in store. In the meantime, embrace and enjoy this tantalising release.
“Did you see it?”