Dead By Sunrise
Out of Ashes


2.5
average

Review

by Captain Civic USER (13 Reviews)
January 25th, 2011 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Competent, with a few shining moments, but otherwise bland.

Let’s face it. If you’re looking up information about Dead by Sunrise, there is a nearly one hundred percent chance you’re doing so because you heard Linkin Park’s front man Chester Bennington is attached as the singer/songwriter. You want to know what his side project sounds like, and if it has any relevance to his well known nu-metal works. That’s a fair inquiry. Let me tell you right now that this is not a clone of Linkin Park, nor is it very reminiscent of it at all. Is it good, though"

Unfortunately, most of Out of Ashes just isn’t very interesting. The transition from nu-metal to rock has been an awkward and unwieldy process for Bennington, because there are definitely some songs on here that would sound fantastic in his natural setting but are really lacking in plain rock flavour. “Condemned”, and to a lesser extent, “Inside of Me”, just beg for a spot on a Hybrid Theory era album but languish and feel incomplete in their actual forms. “End of the World”, both lyrically and sonically, is as subtle as a fart in an elevator, and saving the lukewarm interesting guitar bridge, is the least appealing track on the album. “Walking in Circles” is quite dull as well, following a rudimentary rock-by-numbers layout. Nothing on here (except maybe the aforementioned “End of the World”) is a bad song; they’re just uninspired and derivative.

Chester’s vocals are just what you’d expect from him. While his iconic screaming is not as ubiquitous as it is on Linkin Park’s earlier work, it is ostensibly for the best. Most tracks on Out of Ashes don’t really call for it, and on occasion it seems like Bennington’s screams are included for the sake of it. “Inside of Me”, probably the biggest offender, appears to be nothing more than an outlet for Chester to scream to his heart’s content, but sonically it would be done justice if wrapped in the nu-metal sound he’s so well known for. There is a greater emphasis on his singing and impassioned, high range yells, which feature prominently in “Crawl Back In”, for example. “Too Late” and especially “Give Me Your Name” showcase Bennington’s softer, melodic tone, explored further with decent results. This album hasn’t particularly advanced Chester’s voice, but his performance is at the same quality as it’s always been.

Lyrics are incredibly basic. Chester’s never been known for deep, poetic wordsmithing, but some instances on Out of Ashes are outstandingly irritating. “End of the World” sports inane, unoriginal lyrics about the way the world is; a short excerpt is below.

When you read the news
Does it make you feel sick"
Murder, money and politics
Gonna fill you up
Get your b*ll*** fix

There really isn’t much here to see. While not all songs have atrocious lyrics, there is nothing creative or inspirational in any tracks. For the most part, the lyrics are just there so that Chester has intelligible words to sing rather than engaging in the Hayley Williams style of ‘wooo’s and ‘whoa’s.

While much of the album is forgettable, there are several tracks that stand out from the rest. The opener “Fire” has an irresistibly catchy, almost anthemic vibe to the verses where Chester croons along memorably to the simplicity of repeated chord strumming of an electric guitar before launching into the action packed chorus. “Let Down”, despite its strange synth atmosphere, has a difficult chorus to shake out of the head, the harmonies an impressive success. “Give Me Your Name” is oddly charming, led comfortably along by a steady drum beat, reverberating guitar chords and a sugary, almost lovesick Bennington reaching notes I didn’t know he could. “Crawl Back In” is, all things considered, the best rock track on the album, finding a sound that isn’t similarly replicated anywhere else.

Personally I’d prefer Dead by Sunrise to focus on their obvious strengths. The most shining, attention grabbing songs on the album are removed from the mainstream/hard rock feeling and inhabit a mellower, indie/alt rock sound. Songs like “Into You”, “Fire”, “In The Darkness” (remove the ape-like grunts from the start, though) and “Give Me Your Name” are obvious exceptions to the lacklustre rock tracks that make up the remainder. A future album has been intimated, and if it comes to fruition, it would be wonderful if Dead by Sunrise isolated the mood and impressions of these songs and built an album composed solely of them.

In the end, Out of Ashes is a competent but bland affair, with a few shining moments. It’s like eating a butter sandwich for lunch. Sure it’s a sandwich, and there are even meagre mouthfuls that contain juicy morsels of meat and garden salads, but ultimately it isn’t as tasty and inviting as it could be and it’ll just leave you hungry for something better.



Recent reviews by this author
These Branches This One's On YouEye Alaska Yellow & Elephant
Goo Goo Dolls Something for the Rest of UsRed (USA) Innocence and Instinct
Matchbox Twenty Exile on MainstreamLess Than Jake B Is for B-sides
user ratings (215)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
BassDemon333 (3.5)
Chester Bennigton forms a new band and releases a debut album that shows he’s actually capable of ...

ToWhatEnd (2)
Don't quit your day job Bennington...

Dylan620 (2)
Out of Ashes teaches us that Chester Bennington is much better fit with the nu-metal atmosphere of L...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Captain Civic
January 25th 2011


384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Objectively I think it's a 2.5, but the songs that are good on here were enough for me to rate it a 3.

bloc
January 25th 2011


53038 Comments


Some great songs on this, it was quite surprising

Digging: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Organisation

silentstar
January 25th 2011


2526 Comments


Too Late and Let Down are both catchy as hell.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Solid review - have a pos.

IAmKickass
January 26th 2011


840 Comments


Never really took the time to listen to these guys, guess it should stay that way.

JimmyPop
January 26th 2011


26 Comments


I wondered why the grunting was there in 'In The Darkness' until I listened to the lyrics and realized they were about fucking.

Good review; pos.

TannerSaysStuff
January 26th 2011


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I looked it up because it had the guys from Julien-K not Linkin Park.

mezz85
January 26th 2011


12 Comments


Another good review brother! Will have a listen and see if I concur!

LepreCon
January 26th 2011


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

From what I remember this was pretty good but nothing truly remarkable

Captain Civic
January 26th 2011


384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yes Tanner, that's why I said "nearly."



I really recommend "Fire", though.

bloc
January 26th 2011


53038 Comments


Fire kicks ass, best song on the album by far.

BassDemon333
January 26th 2011


3435 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, Fire is a really good song

keren11
January 30th 2011


1 Comments


awesome review



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy