From Ashes To New – ‘The Future’ (Album Review)
From Ashes To New have a storied history strewn with lineup changes – and their latest creative move sees them come extremely close to Linkin Park territory. There’s a strong focus on accessible riffs with an occasional hint of djent-related guitar tones, setting From Ashes To New apart from the nu-metal legends – but that comparison is unavoidable from early tracks Wake Up and Crazy onwards.
The Future is a decent album, sure to get plenty of younger listeners set on the path to heavier things. It’s a classic gateway album, one that certainly has its place in the metal world. Personally, having been around for the first emergence of nu-metal and moved on from its angsty ruminations, this album initially appealed to me in a nostalgic sense.
Unfortunately, after the first few songs, disappointment set in.
When The Future firmly moves out of the twin shadows of Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, From Ashes To New become difficult to distinguish from the rest of the current crop of alternative bands aiming to take over the radio. This album can’t be faulted in terms of musicianship, but it’s so heavily produced that every rough edge has ended up sanded down. There’s obviously aggression and attitude, but the end result is the sound of a band trapped in a digital cage, when it deserves to be let loose.
In a live environment, this set of songs will work – but on record, they feel too safe. Especially considering the issues that clearly lie behind every lyric, The Future is overall incongruent, overpolished, and needlessly watered down.
LTK RATING: 70%
Pre-order The Future (out April 20) on iTunes.
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