Battering their way out of Northampton are Born of Ashes, a five-piece hardcore act who have just returned from a small lay-off.
They’ve returned and recently finished tracking their new EP, Lifelearner with Nathan Smith of Demoraliser on production duties. There is no release date as yet – the EP is looking for the perfect distributor – but I’ve been lucky enough to get hold of a copy so I can let you lot know how good it is.
At five tracks it’s long enough to get a feel for the band and the first overall feeling is that if I spilled their pint, I’d buy them a sodding brewery to make up for it or risk losing all my limbs. Lifelearner is one heavy album which can pound you to a paste, yet contains a lot of rhythm and melody. Kind of like a UFC fighter who could break all your bones by pure pummelling force… and then riverdance around your remains.
Opener “Arrival” had me hooked within moments of it opening. A solid, catchy bass rhythm that runs for the entire length of the song, even throughout the far heavier and more violent sections. “It feels to good to be back”. Indeed. It’s a frustratingly short track at 1:45 in length, but I can see it being a great kicker to start off a live set.
“Proven” starts as to means to go on – driving, fast-paced and with a neck-breaking drumbeat. There are a couple of more “punch the air and stop your feet” moments, but overall this is just a fast near-thrash experience.
You can sample “Greater Souls” below and it’s probably the most generic hardcore track on the album. It does pause a couple of times for just the right period to build the tension before unleashing hell once again. In the final run, there’s a great melodic undertone (vocal and guitar) which adds extra depth to the song.
“Home” is the musical equivalent of coarse sandpaper. It’s simply abrasive and wears you down with unrelenting pace.
Finally we have “Eisenhower”. Best track on the EP in my opinion, it leads with a strong, bouncy rhythm and lyrics you can scream. A quick indication that things are about to get violent before the temp jumps up a notch and into violent chorus territory. There’s even a gentle solo guitar break, but that’s only there to let you draw breath. As the track proceeds, it grows, develops and shows off the band’s entire range of sounds.
Production throughout is superb with the bass sounds really assaulting the headphones/speakers, while vocals can be heard clearly and never get lost behind the instruments.
If this is what Born From Ashes are capable of then we need to be seeing more of them. Whoever gets the deal to distribute this EP should be onto a winner if there’s any justice in the world.