Review Summary: Obscure hard rock with progressive tendencies, southern rock flavor and a strong scent of epicness.
It’s such a bittersweet feeling when you discover an obscure album from a forgotten band. On the one hand, it’s sweet because there’s something out there that has been flying under the radar for a long time and you finally found it, which often creates an emotional bond. But it’s bitter because someone talented enough to create really good music didn’t manage to reach a wider audience due to a number of reasons.
Ashbury’s debut is exactly that case of an album where it should have been much more popular because its musical content is too good to go unnoticed. Searching for the reasons why this album is so obscure is probably a futile exercise but to begin with, it was released during the wrong era. The beginning of the ‘80s and more specifically 1983 was a year for NWOBHM and thrash metal not a hard rock album with progressive tendencies.
sounds like a cross between Wishbone Ash’s Argus
with southern rock tendencies ala-The Allman Brothers and a scent of epicness the same way Rainbow did in the past. From the very first track of the album, one feels drawn to the beautiful guitar harmonies, the captivating leads and soft vocal lines. Most tracks are mid tempo while the lyrics deal with fantasy themes, giving the album a magical/mystical feeling. There are various acoustic passages that might remind Jethro Tull to some which is always a plus. Songs like the instrumental ”Twilight” or “No Mourning” impress with their beauty, while “Vengeance” and “Endless Skies” help to create an epic atmosphere such as the one depicted on the album’s cover art. The rest of the album consists more or less of well crafted tracks with a number of hooks and immaculate melodies.
Nevertheless, some may find the band too much focused on their influences even though I assure you that Ashbury have done a really good job of wearing them on their sleeve. In addition, Endless Skies
is just unusual when we come to think the year it was released and might sound dated to a handful of listeners.
However, if you’re looking for a high quality hard rock album with interesting and well written songs, look no more; Endless Skies
is one of the best hard rock albums you’ve never listened.