GOTHIC KNIGHTS – Up From The Ashes

GOTHIC KNIGHTS - Up From The Ashes


Limb Music Publishing
Release date: October 20, 2003

User Review
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You are going to get a brouhaha going if you throw together all of the creatures on Gothic Knights new release Up From The Ashes . Warriors, witches, archangels, the Headless Horseman and a vampire all have their moment in the sword-light on this Power Metal release from a band out of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Up From The Ashes is a damn good Power Metal album. The novelty of this album comes from the fact that music like this is rarely produced in the U.S.; if you play Power Metal, you are probably European. Well, these guys might not be innovative, but they add a nuance to a genre that is somewhat full of Helloween sound-alikes.

This song is a theme we have heard a few times in this post 9-11 world. “The Power and the Glory,” offers the words, “Your strike on our land was your first mistake, called us out to war. Now you’ve summoned the red, white and blue hurricane.” There is added fury here, like they are trying to prove a point, and while the music gets the sentiment across, the vocals suffer just a little. Still, a good tune.

The next three songs — “Warrior of Faith,” “Down in Flames” and “Up From the Ashes” — are all well done, and would probably stand out if the rest of the album wasn’t so exceptional. (“Up From the Ashes” sounds quite like Stratovarious.) The thing you’ll notice on first listen is that with each song, the musicianship gets tighter, and vocally, they really hit their stride. Comparing the ballad “Dear Queen” to the first song “The Power and the Glory,” you may think someone else is singing. Well, vocalist Rick Sanchez can scream, croon and wail with the best of them — the perfect voice for this type of Metal.

“Vampyre,” is the first time they slow it down, offer another side to their writing and playing styles. The song is eerie, and the slow intro cutting to a riffing guitar makes the tone more malevolent. With lyrics like, “For a thousand lifetimes I’ll make you my own,” and “Come dance with me for the rest of eternity,” you’ll get what the song is about. The chorus is another anthem, something you’ll sing along with as soon as you hear it. This is where Gothic Knights first starts truly swinging their sword, so to speak.

“Sleepy Hollow” starts as an almost beautiful construction, while still maintaining a menacing edge. The song builds up, and you want to hear it get faster and faster, and when it does, after the lyrics, “Fallen warrior on a path of war, Bringing heads to the doorstep of hell,” you’ll find yourself cranking it up and getting ready for singer Sanchez doing his best Halford screaming — and pulling it off. Another strong song.

If you are a true fan of Power Metal, then you know the obligatory ballad has to join the fray sooner or later. “Dear Queen” has the cheesy lyrics expected of such fare — “Dear Queen, like an angel from the heavens, You fell into my arms and I held you so close,” — but it really doesn’t matter. You’ll cruise around in your car and serenade the chick next to you, idling at the stop-light, and it’s OK. That’s what well-written Power Metal does to you …

Although they are not the first name that pops up when someone asks you, “who is your favorite Power Metal band,” check out Gothic Knight’s Up From The Ashes. At the very least, you’ll see they are as good as their fellow warriors.

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