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Ashler - January 13th CD (album) cover

JANUARY 13TH

Ashler

 

Progressive Metal

1.00 | 1 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This will be the second-ever review of an album from my country here in PA, but, sadly, the rating and the opinion will be quite different.

I reviewed VIUDA NEGRA's "La Voz de los Bosques" a few days ago, and I mentioned how that album was finally free of all the problems that usually exist in Ecuadorean recordings. Well, with ASHLER, they've come back.

Sure, this is only a 22-minute EP, but it's not a demo, it's a short-album recorded in a studio with commercial and artistic purposes in mind. The best efforts should've been done in order to assure that the first ASHLER-experience for a listener be a rewarding one.

ASHLER plays gothic metal with progressive elements. Their original music has some elements of PINK FLOYD, LACUNA COIL, but also THE GATHERING, DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA or even AMORPHIS. The band doesn't rely exclusively on riffs, and there's quite a few decent ideas in most of the songs. The music is very atmospheric and at times it almost reaches beauty.

The musicians are skilled, if not tremendously so. The guitarist has some good ideas, but sometimes it's in the execution when the problems arise. The keyboardist plays a decent intro, even if it's a little too short. The drummer knows his drumkit.

There are two big and fatal problems with this EP: one, maybe the minor one, is the recording. The guitars sound horrible, without strength, the drums sound like cardboard, and everything just lacks any true spark, the sound cries amateurism.

But the biggest problem is the singer. Diana just can't or doesn't know hot to handle the vocals in this EP. Her voice has a decent tone, but she seems to be completely amateur, with no training at all, as she constantly sounds off-key throughout the entire record. From ridiculous highs to un-listenable lows, her voice just can't find the exact spot where it should be in accordance to the music the instruments are playing.

I'm sorry but it's inexcusable for a band to release a record internationally (maybe locally it could be forgiven) with a singer that can't find the right key. It sounds lazy, it sounds un-professional, but worse than anything, it sounds defeatist. All it takes it's practice and training, the will to do it, and even a person with bad voice can sing in tune. For a person with a decent voice, singing like this is just impossible to forgive.

Something inside me tells me that I should be kinder with this band. After all, it's from my country, a land with little music-history, and where the rock movement is just starting to generate results. But this paternalistic attitude is what has caused too many mediocre talents to shine while true talent is incapable of getting anywhere. It CAN be done. VIUDA NEGRA has proven that to be true.

An embarrassment. And to think I ADDED this band to the Archives... Well, after all, being progressive doesn't mean being good.

Be more demanding of the artists of your country, if you're not from North America or Europe. The only way to force artists to get better is by not patronizing them when they perform poorly. Anybody anywhere can make good music. It will just take a little sweat, you know?

The music is not that bad but the utter laziness reflected by the singer and, in consequence, by the band, forces me to give this EP the lowest available rating. I would do the same with an artist from another country after all.

Music, if it's to be done professionally and with commercial gain as an objective, is not a friends game but a serious matter. If a singer can't sing, it's time to find a replacement. Or disappear into oblivion like thousands of irrelevant bands that never wanted to accomplish anything other than having a good time among friends.

The T | 1/5 |

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