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Review: Ashen - The End is Nigh
The End is Nigh

Label: Independent
Year released: 2015
Duration: 44:31
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Thrash

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: April 5, 2016
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
The End is Nigh

Rated 4.31/5 (86.15%) (13 Votes)

Ashen is a four-piece Finnish Metal band from Joensuu, a city and┬ámunicipality in North Karelia, in the province of Eastern Finland. The thing is, nobody knows anything about them – and that's the truth. This short-lived Thrash/Heavy Metal group existed in between the years 1988-90, and only released a 2-song single in the fall of 1989 before calling it a day and sinking into oblivion for 25 years. They reactivated in 2015, with the serious intention to continue their musical crusade and get some unfinished business done after the 25-years hiatus.

The End Is Nigh, a 10-song effort from Ashen, sounds like we are all getting thrown some 20 years back in time by an ancient catapult. Ashen sounds old school; their mix of Speed, Thrash and Heavy Metal reeks of that special vibe and feeling that undoubtedly starts telling its story about how the Ashen guys first found bands like Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica and wanted to create something similar. Add a fair dose of Punk-ish elements into this same soup, and you get an idea of how Ashen sound. Speaking of the Finnish underground Metal scene of the late eighties, technical Finnish Speed Metal merchants Stone might also be a somewhat fitting comparison to Ashen, especially when it comes down to the vocals of Mikael Oresmaa (expect no outstanding or versatile vocal acrobatics though). The bottom line is that Ashen relies on simple but catchy song structures, making their debut album enjoyable to listen to. I personally like some of the faster numbers like "The Payback" and "Time to Die" that both clearly ooze the true aggressive Speed/Thrash Metal spirit of the old days. "Riot" is one heavy roller, including some masculine and meaty riffing, strangely reminding me of Californian thrashers Heathen at times. "Get Off" appeals to me a lot due to some mind-sticking melody lines and sinfully catchy chorus. Otherwise, Ashen can be a proud of themselves for giving it another try and returning to the studio to record these 10 songs for their debut.

Hopefully there will be more coming from them in the future. I would like to hear another album just to see where they could possibly go from their very pleasant debut album.

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