Thursday, August 21, 2014
Sacred Ash - "Beneath Blackened Skies"
Sacred Ash are a 5 piece thrashing power metal band from Westchester,NY and the 4 song EP "Beneath Blackened Skies" is their current offering. Those of you reading this who remember when there used to be awesome metal shows at Popeyes Pub, thrown by Lou Kemia Labs, FYC Records and Tainted Entertainment should recognize guitarist Christian Rush, bassist Anthony Rendina and drummer Anthony Casario from the young upstart band Thrashed. Shortly after disbanding Thrashed, these 3 added a new vocalist and second guitarist and formed a whole new beast now known as Sacred Ash. "Pure Evil" kicks this 4 song ride off into high gear with tons of old school heavy metal flair. With speedy riffs that recall "Kill 'EM All" Metallica and catchy hooks reminiscent of Iron Maiden, Sacred Ash show that while they may be relatively new to the scene, they have their roots firmly planted in classic heavy metal soil. This song rages onward, showcasing slick bass lines, uptempo double bass drumming and face melting guitar leads, everything that a headbanger from the old guard wants in their music. "Destiny Calls" starts up with choppy, tight riffs that recall 80's era Megadeth and builds into huge powerful verses and choruses that give the listener a 'horns in the air vibe' akin to Helloween and early power metal acts of the like. The break that starts at 3:08 plods and trudges along with an Anthrax-y stomp and is layered perfectly with melodic guitar fills before going off into a pure shred-fest. "Defiant To The End" is a mid tempo neck snapper that gallops about in the vein of 3 Inches Of Blood. This tune is chock full of dark riffs and nasty hammer-on's that would make Marty Friedman proud. Dan DeVita leads the charge on this track with his vocal styling, he treads the line between thash and power metal, raspy and throaty when he needs to be, and soulful without breaking into a high falsetto register when the music behind him gets more epic, overall I'd say he has more in common with John Wooten of Widow than with Rob Halford or similar screechers. "The Serpents Rise" closes out this disk with more memorable verses and choruses that pull the listener in and get your head nodding along to it's Iced Earth-ish riffs. The solo break once again showcases Mr. Rush's talent with it's running acrobatics and harmonies culminating into a Herman Li-esque whammy bar dive before turning around once more to take us out with that unforgettable chorus. All 4 tracks on "Beneath Blackened Skies" are 100% kick ass and this band is 100% pure metal to it's core. There's no incomprehensible gurgling vocals, flat brimmed baseball caps, huge ear gauges or uninspired breakdown after breakdown nonsense here. This is heavy metal for the beer swilling air guitarist whose walls are adorned with Metallica posters and whose denim vest is covered in NWOBHM patches. Thrashers from the old guard and new metalheads just discovering the Big 4 take note, Sacred Ash are here to bring true metal to Westchester and beyond, and if "Beneath Blackened Skies" is any indication, then the future looks bright for this band indeed. You can find Sacred Ash on facebook at www.facebook.com/sacredashband and you can follow them on twitter at www.twitter.com/sacredashband as well. The band also has a youtube channel where you can see a pro shot video for "The Serpents Rise" as well as a demo recording for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme which the band have a petition you can sign in hopes for the song to be used in the forthcoming MMPR movie, so sign it and help them out! You can hear cuts from this EP and much more great underground metal Monday mornings from 10am to 1pm EST at www.brutalexistenceradio.net.