Chelsea Grin
Ashes to Ashes



by derpstinlikesmusic2 USER (3 Reviews)
August 1st, 2014 | 4 replies

Release Date: 07/08/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ashes to Ashes has helped Chelsea Grin prove that they have "Evolved" into something better than what they have previously done.

I'll be honest... I stopped enjoying Chelsea Grin's material by the time their Evolve EP was released. I was ultimately disappointed with the not only the quality of their music, but also with the direction in which they were apparently headed. The band was excited to show off all of the new techniques that they wanted to implement on their EP (e.g. clean vocals, more melodies). However, it seemed to fall flat and failed to impress listeners. And that was the day that my attention steered away from the deathcore band from Salt Lake City, Utah...

...And then I opened my latest issue of AP magazine. It was on the second page: "Chelsea Grin's third full length release 'Ashes to Ashes'". After groaning and thinking about immediately turning the page, I noticed the album artwork. 'This looks somewhat familiar to My Damnation,' I thought. 'Yet, somehow, it seems a bit more... advanced'. Usually, I don't base my listening decisions off of what the cover of an album looks like, but I decided to go onto YouTube that day and attempt to find a morsel that would feed my curiosity.

My. God. How can this be" Chelsea Grin is supposed to be trying to make the radio. Not progressing and winning the attention back of their previous long-lost listeners. How can Chelsea Grin actually get... better" Sure, the song that I chose wasn't exactly the greatest. But there were no piss-poor clean vocals. There were no forced choruses in pathetic attempts to make the listener consider them to be "catchy". There were injections of various techniques. I heard djent, black metal, deathcore, metalcore, death metal. It all blended together, like the strongest whiskey old fashioned with just the right amount of sour to make it kick. I found myself thinking, 'I want more...'.

Ashes to Ashes is not necessarily an A+, Album of the Year listen. If you're a fan of aggressive, fast-paced music full of breakdowns and simpler lead guitar parts, I would highly recommend this album. Alex Koehler made the wise decision on this album of not relying so much on himself for doing clean and unclean vocals. The drummer of the band is actually a very impressive unclean vocalist while he compliments Koehler in songs like "Clockwork", "Cheers to Us", and "Letters". While you would expect Alex to assume the full-time position as lead vocals on the album, he fortunately gives equal (if not less than) time on the album to add intensity and emotion to his lyrics. I won't lie and say that Alex's lyrics are phenomenal, but they are a step up compared to his previous work.

When judging music, I usually base my opinion on if I can listen to the album in entirety without becoming bored and also how often I can listen to it. I recently drove an hour from my hometown in Wisconsin to a city in Illinois... about an hour. I listen to the album in entirety about twice in a row. Some songs are skip-worthy ("Nightmares", "Ashes..." " Ashes"); but overall, the album is not anything close to their original sound. If you're into metal, this album is worth a listen. Will Chelsea Grin make anything better than Ashes to Ashes" Possible. But probably not.

user ratings (270)
other reviews of this album
KMassam (3.5)
In the end, this is still a deathcore album. However, a sprinkling of new elements such as melody an...

MstrlrdSteelDragon (1)
Ashes to Ashes offers you nothing more than what you'd expect: a cringe-worthy hour of brainless/sha...

SamAlberti (4)
Chelsea grin finally complete their ascendancy from generic and simple 'core' metal....

Comments:Add a Comment 
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Very little talk about the actual album itself, bud. You seem to talk about the band more (and you reading them in a magazine. lol). I want to know more about the songs, dammit!

Pretty good work for a first though. But just something to think about

Digging: Big Dumb Face - Where Is Duke Lion? He's Dead...

August 1st 2014


Decent review; agreed with the good doctor about the lack of details in regards to the actual album. Given the genre that Chelsea Grin are in, it's not egregious to skimp on the details of how it actually sounds if it's not a far cry from previous albums. You say it yourself: breakdowns and simple lead guitar parts, Koehler doesn't sound much different than before, only a little improved. Overall, good first review. Just try to take yourself out of it a bit more (the reading a magazine part isn't really necessary, and won't keep the reader's attention at all), and use songs as key examples of describing the sound of the album itself. Pos'd your first, man.

August 1st 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

Wow thanks for the constructive criticism! I appreciate all of your time in reading my first review and giving me some pointers.

August 1st 2014


No worries, man! You will improve as long as you take the constructive criticism to heart, and as long as you have thick skin. This is a great place to hone your writing, don't hesitate to ask for help if you need any in the future.

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