Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ashes Remain: What I've Become Review

You’ve heard their worshipful radio single “Everything Good,” but now the newcomers to Christian rock, Ashes Remain, prepare for the release of their debut full-length on Fairtrade/Columbia Records – What I’ve Become. Ashes Remain’s strong point is in the variation of their music. Though they know how to put on grunge rock, as can be seen in the opening track “Keep Me Breathing,” the band also directs all glory back to God, and even puts on a variety of powerful worship tracks.

Opening with the strong grunge rock track “Keep Me Breathing,” Ashes Remain is an immediate sensation with their reminder that Jesus is the one Who keeps us breathing. “On My Own,” equally as strong, has a beautiful string intro that stands out throughout the track. Also enjoyable about this track is lead singer Josh Smith’s vocals so comparable to John Cooper from Skillet’s. Thirdly, the powerful and slower worship song, and Ashes Remain’s first radio single “Everything Good” follows, reminding the listener that God is everything good that we see around us each day.

One of the highlights off What I’ve Become by Ashes Remain is the piano ballad “Without You,” a powerful prayer that God would take our brokenness and restore us. It’s hard not to sing along with this wonderful track, co-written with Paul Alan. But following, “Come Alive” jumps right back into the extreme rock sound of Ashes Remain, giving them a sound very much like Decyfer Down. Then, speaking of “dying to be unbroken,” “Unbroken” follows with soaring vocals and grunge guitar acts after each chorus and throughout the verse, provoking the listener to throw up their first and rock along.

Sounding much like Red’s rock comes “End of Me,” almost chaotic in its rock style, but certainly enjoyable for the head-bopping rock fans. It’s strong message of how we often run from pain and hurt instead of confronting it mixed the music perfectly! “Right Here,” less upbeat but not without a wonderful mix of guitars and strings, is a reminder from God to us, promising to remain with us through all heartbreak and pain. This track is very encouraging, and the way the track climaxed at the powerful bridge was simply perfect.

Change My Life” rocks, but it’s the comparative lyrics that make the track the most, especially these catchy and faith-built lyrics of the chorus: “If You could make the sun burn through the night/ and You could make the dead man come alive/ if You could make the oceans all run dry/ then I know You can change my life.” Following, “Take It Away” is totally a track you would expect from Decyfer Down, a track about standing your ground. Especially enjoyable is the short bridge: “Cannot, will not, cannot, break me down!!” There is even a lead guitar instrumental in here!

Almost an exact continuation musically, “Inside of Me” speaks of how we are nothing apart from Christ, but the guitar rock melody of the chorus was just plain awesome! Closing the album is “I Won’t Run Away,” a slower but still strong, speaking of staying in the presence of God as long as it takes when the world is falling down all around us.

To be honest, Ashes Remain’s What I’ve Become surprised me. This band is what you get when you cross Decyfer Down, Red, and Skillet… very strong Christian lyrics, grunge guitar and highly catchy melodies, lead guitar instrumentals, and even a little screamo! This band is sure to become a smashing hit in the days ahead. Don’t miss this fabulous rock project!

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: August 23, 2011

Track listing:
1. Keep Me Breathing
2. On My Own
3. Everything Good
4. Without You
5. Come Alive
6. Unbroken
7. End of Me
8. Right Here
9. Change My Life
10. Take It Away
11. Inside of Me
12. I Won’t Run Away

1 comment:

  1. If i was to compare these guys to a secular artist, I would say that they are most like Theory Of A Deadman and Hinder. Christian music needed a band to be an alternative to that style of modern grunge-rock, and Ashes Remain is just that!


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