Review Summary: An album with no reason to exist
From Ashes to New embody the definition of unoriginality. Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the five-member band consists of multiple vocalists, one that handles all the singing duties and one that does all of the rapping. That formula should sound rather familiar, much like the music they put out. Inspired by the likes of Alexisonfire, Glassjaw, Breaking Benjamin and Of Mice & Men, From Ashes to New manage to capture the generic tones of the latter two while foregoing the fire and energy of the former. In spite of the band’s youth, success has been easily attainable, taking only a few extended plays and one single to shoot them into the most popular rung on the modern rock ladder.
From Ashes to New play a brand of rap-rock-infused metalcore that takes the laziest elements from both genres and fuses them together in one large cluster of mediocrity. The easiest comparison would of course be Linkin Park, if Linkin Park used breakdowns and harsh vocals to the point of oversaturation, Mike Shinoda’s raps were clumsier and Chester Bennington’s voice was far more nasally. If anything, it combines Hollywood Undead levels of obnoxiousness with Papa Roach’s dullness, neither of which is a compliment.
There’s nothing on Day One
that is particularly terrible, but other bands have played their shtick better. Instrumentally, From Autumn to Ashes (I’m sorry, From Ashes
) sound just like the cream of the generic nu-metal and metalcore crop, incorporating excessive chugging, lazy use of synths and overdone guitar riffs. Neither singer Chris Musser or rapper Matt Brandyberry are particularly talented at their craft, with the latter often resorting to macho tough-guy posturing that comes off as way too forced. This is an album that consists of eleven poorly written songs, and it’s hard to find a diamond in the rough when these are all songs that have been played before, either by them or some other band. Some of the hooks are decent, but none of the full songs are good enough to maintain interest throughout the entirety of its duration.
In the end, it doesn’t even matter, because their target audience will devour From Ashes to New much like they have Bring Me the Horizon and their ilk. The album is titled Day One
most probably because this is their first full-length studio release, but a more entertaining theory is that it was named as such because the world’s calendar would have to suddenly revert back to day one in order for anything by this band to be considered fresh. Even then, it’ll still be a boring record at that, one whose closing line, “you only die once”, offers some hope that the second this band’s popularity ceases, their genre will forever be gone. Of course, we all know that will never happen.