The last few years have seen a bit of a nu-metal revival going on, with bands such as Coal Chamber and Spineshank recently reforming, completing tours and releasing new records, alongside new bands such as Issues and Hacktivist emerging and looking to jump onto the rap metal bandwagon. You can add From Ashes To New to the latter category.
A band formed in 2013 from the ashes(!) of several other metal bands, FATN are a five-piece outfit from Pennsylvania, who base their sound around artists such as Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and the aforementioned Issues with rapping vocals interspersed with clean melodic choruses. If this sounds a little generic, then that’s probably because it is.
Not all nu-metal should be branded as unimaginative and bland, but there are certain aspects which should be firmly left in the past. What the band have achieve on ‘Day One’, their debut record no less, bears all the hallmarks of what led the original wave of nu-metal into a bumbling laughing stock of boring riffs laid on top of cookie cutter rap vocals and linear song structures.
From the off, ‘Land Of Make Believe’ demonstrates some poorly constructed rapping sandwiched by a melodic chorus, which is completely stripped of anything resembling a decent pace. The vocal mix is very quickly pushed to the background of the music, and really deadens the impact that it’s surely meant to achieve. The datedness continues into ‘Farther From Home’ with an introduction that sounds like a late 90s Bomfunk MCs (Google them) chart song, and some electronica which rumbles to a predictable breakdown at the end of the track. Chris Musser‘s chorus bears some resemblance in style to Chester Bennington, but without the vibrancy and danger that made Linkin Park so immediately exciting.
The theme continues throughout the record with Matt Brandyberry‘s rapping so poorly sewn into the music to be almost completely redundant. You can add another one (or maybe two if you’re feeling particularly generous) to the review score above if you take this element of the band’s music away. It really is painfully generic in places.
There’s a tiny bit of catchiness inherent within ‘Through It All’, but it masks the fact that there’s no real deviation from the tried and tested formula of rapped verses, melodic chorus, and electronica. Ears will peak during ‘Face The Day’, arguably the most inventive track on the album, with a superbly raw introduction thanks to some seethingly heavy vocals, complemented by twin guitar solos, a dauntingly dark tone and a decent tempo throughout, before ‘Every Second’ brings a Black Veil Brides-esque radio-friendly sheen to proceedings, with easy to sing lyrics and a competent guitar solo, but all still underpinned by more atrocious rapping.
It’s good to know that with ‘Day One’ being their debut album, it means that hopefully they can mature with each passing release to produce something that’s in the slightest bit exciting. But, for those of you who are looking for something a bit fresher, check out the new material from Issues and Hacktivist to satisfy your nu-metal cravings.
Written by Neil Criddle (@DJCriddz)