From This Day – Proverbs Of Ashes

Don’t be fooled by the album cover. While the art that emblazons ‘Proverbs Of Ashes’ might make you think you’re in store for a generic, overly emotional metalcore band, this is a look that is most certainly deceiving. From This Day actually plays a very brutal, aggressive, and, yes, emotional breed of melodic death/metalcore, and their debut LP ‘Proverbs Of Ashes’ is able to pummel you into dust, despite its sub-half-hour running time.

Damn the music on here is vicious. A good point of reference would be Through The Eyes Of The Dead, maintaining all the power of that band with a similar sonic aesthetic. Not only is the songwriting intense, but the musicianship is some of the fastest I’ve ever heard on a metalcore album. Drummer Allen Malkiewicz puts many drummers in more extreme bands to shame with his immense speed; another pleasing element of this album is its use of full-on blast beats instead of generic double bass patterns throughout. Of course, the rest of the band isn’t slouching either: string duo Andy Stevens and Jay Wopperer can craft some excellent melodeath/metalcore riffs that maintain an air of familiarity without being completely derivate like many other bands in this fusion style. Vocalist Fredrick Dombrowski is also surprisingly talented, eschewing traditional hardcore vocals for a higher-pitched scream with the occasional low growl.

‘Proverbs Of Ashes’ opens with ‘I Thought I Knew You’, which wastes no time before blasting the listener with notes, before easing into traditional melodeath riffing. Traditional modern metalcore riffs are given a new lease on life in this band, such as on ‘Lost In Ourselves’, where even the simplest riffs seem packed with new emotion, and the swing of a breakdown seems fresh and new due to the passion with which each member plays. The musicians here are clearly dedicated and full of zeal towards their compositions, making this an album that’s very easy to succumb to, despite its sometimes frantic nature.

One element that prevents this album from falling to some of the flaws that make this fusion so lackluster much of the time is the production. I find that a lack of bass presence on many melodeath/metalcore albums makes the inevitable harmonizing guitar solos sound cheesy and melodramatic. On ‘Proverbs Of Ashes’, From This Day has a powerful and audible bass guitar presence that makes the highly melodic passages seem more genuinely emotional and less over-the-top. The entire release is produced very well: the sound is clear, powerful, and not lacking personality like many professional releases. The whole LP is very easy on the ears without losing atmosphere.

Another unique note of this album is the relatively short running time of each track. Each track is under three minutes long, (except for the very nice acoustic guitar/piano instrumental Fata Morgana) keeping this album moving right along and never getting stale. While some might complain about the short overall length of the album, I’d say it’s better to leave the audience wanting more than checking their watches, and this is what From This Day is able to do: make you want to see what they’ll release next.

From This Day’s debut is a huge surprise. I’d recommend even those that normally dislike melodic death/metalcore to give this album a try: it’s a very unique and quality take on the genre. I know that I’ll most certainly be keeping an eye out for this band in the future.


~ by noktorn on March 23, 2007.

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