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There are a few things going on about Ashes of the Wake:
Epic Records released a DualDisc, with the album on one and the DVD with better sound quality and extra songs on the other side. Some Ashes of the Wake albums include a bonus CD with songs from other albums, and there are two versions available of Ashes of the Wake, one clean, one explicit. So you have identical named songs on identical named albums, but they sound different from each other.
I haven’t heard many bands using riffs as chords, and I can’t recall the last time I heard someone play riffs at the speed L.O.G can play. Melody’s are unnecessary, the only thing the guitar players need are the riffs. In that way, they’re very original. And they’re predictable. If you hear a riff once, you can sing it along with the music, but it isn’t nuisant. The riffs are incredibly well-thought and very good played. The fact that they’re predictable, doesn’t spoil the fun of listening to it.
The songs are well-composed, using small and tiny techniques that make a song very good, but that are not so much heard in other bands/songs. The guitar duals are really good, and the voice of Randall Blythe fits in very well.
The production is well-balanced. You can hear all the instruments clearly, and the riffs have a good volume. The clean version of the CD has a slight distortion, so that it sounds a bit raw, but still clear. The explicit version differs very much as the distortion is much more present. But it still sounds good. Both of the versions don’t have that pushing: they create a bit of a gap between you and the music.
The songs are all on-beat. You never have the feeling that the music is slowing down a bit on a difficult riff, or that the music starts too soon after a break, or too late. Lamb of God doesn’t play acoustical parts or parts that meant to be sad or something, on the contrary, the songs all sound aggressive and mean. It definitely fits with the riffs and vocals and stuff.
Just like every album: this album also has some songs/parts that deserve a note:
- Hourglass sounds different from the other songs on the album. The alternations are quicker, there are more parts in the song, and they all differ from each other a bit to much. This song definitely needs a while to get used to, but it is acceptable.
- Laid to Rest is a very good opener for the album. This song sounds just meaner than every other song on the album. The riff at the middle of the song is truly fantastic.
- Now You’ve Got Something To Die For has a beautiful intro.
- The solo’s of One Gun are good
- The song Ashes of the Wake has a very good intro, and besides some speeches of Blythe, the song’s instrumental.
- Remorse is for the Dead also has a beautiful opening riff.
If you run across this album: buy it! And if you want the best version, I suggest you’d buy the explicit version (if you can find one, there’s no difference in the cover artwork as far as I know). This is a very good album for the ultimate party moments of your life, headbanging’s guaranteed! The album sounds very, very good. It’s a must have for every riff-fanatic, every explicit-production-fanatic, and everyone who loves mean and aggressive songs.