ALBUM REVIEW: CHELSEA GRIN “ASHES TO ASHES”

chelsea grin

Words By: DYLAN McATEER

Released: July 8, 2014 via Artery Records and Razor & Tie Records

The third studio album from American deathcore band Chelsea Grin is set for release. Two years after they released the Evolve EP, Ashes To Ashes brings out an incredible growth in the band.

I’d have to say that this is their best work by far, as it won’t cease to impress from start to finish. Vocally, lyrically and instrumentally they killed it on this one! Being someone that started listening to the band since their original EP, it has been awesome to see this growth. I had high hopes for the release, but it just blew me away.

Alex Koehler is a phenomenal vocalist, who puts his talents on showcase here. Something I’ve always appreciated from Chelsea Grin is their vocal variety. Several styles and sounds to it all incorporated into each song. Lyrically the band has always tended more to a negative light, until now. Koehler said a while back that this was going to be a new look for the band with a more positive message. They want to encourage standing up for yourself and moving past the opinions of others.

The first notable thing about this release is the amount of contact you will find here. There are a grand total of 15 tracks, two of which are purely instrumentals.

I really enjoy the heavy entrance that is made through the opening track, “Playing With Fire”. The Instrumental chugging at the songs outset amps up the intensity and prepares you for the whole set. Speaking of burning it down to liberate you from oppression. Very catchy track that’s sure to get you hooked and it’s not even the best on here!

“Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray”was released as a teaser to the album a little while back, but it’s one of my favorites. I love the vocal approach they take to it and find it really encapsulates they’re new style. A great overwhelming message of distinguishing yourself from the herd by valuing what makes you unique. Individualism is obviously an important thing in today’s modern world, where it can be easy to get lost. The title alone is pretty awesome, depending on how you take it, but I find it to be a unique form of optimism.

If I had to pick a favorite track, I’d have to say that I’m quite partial towards “Cheers To Us”.  I love the melody of this track and just how fierce it is in the way it’s organized. I can’t speak enough about how impressive Chelsea Grin’s instrumentals are, they just have a way of knowing what it takes to make a solid production. The talks of standing together and going through the challenges of life together is very warming. A real cease-the-day type song about moving forward and living for the moment.

All and all I love every track on the album and think it’s by far their most impressive release to date. Pick yourself up a copy and you won’t regret it, I promise!

Hopefully you caught Chelsea Grin at Warped Tour last week in Toronto! If not you may have to wait a while before they return unfortunately.

Tracklist:

1)     Playing With Fire

2)     Pledge Allegiance

3)     Morte

4)     Nightmares

5)     Illuminate

6)     Sellout

7)     Waste Away

8)     Ashes…

9)     … To Ashes

10) Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray

11) Letters

12) Cheers To Us

13) Clockwork

14) Undying

15) Dust To Dust

Listen to “Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray” here via YouTube:

Listen to “Cheers To Us” here via YouTube:

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