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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Sep 14th, 2015

Five Hundredth Year: A Rose from Ashes

five hundredthFive Hundredth Year
A Rose from Ashes
(self-released)

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Mike on keys and Jonathan’s heavy rhythm guitar lay the bed on opener “Awaken in Silence” while John provides both yelling and impassioned verse vocals with bassist Brenda lending her harmony in the chorus; it’s a big, dramatic, catch-you-by-the-throat opener on Five Hundredth Year’s new album, A Rose from Ashes. “Breaking Point” is full assault, Zach’s bass drumming riffling at the fore along with those chunky rhythms and John’s impressive growl-to-melodic-to-shouting vocal prowess. Again, the band provides singable moments that Brenda and Mike lend to the mix and Ben’s lead guitar comes in just when he should, never overdoing it with masturbatory-like blistering leading, I hear too much from bands of this ilk. Ben is on fire with his runs at the beginning of “Reflection” before things get all riff-tastic over Zach’s kinetic rhythm. There come good, unexpected turns here as the band mines dynamics, getting soft (John again as much singing as screaming), keys coming in and out; this is probably the most musically complex tune on A Rose from Ashes, a true phoenix-rising kind of a number. “Stand Up” is one of heaviest tunes here, a roiling song-scape for keys and John pushing an over-the-top beat (I sniffed a hint of NIN here). “Talking Body” mines John at his sexiest vocals, it’s a killer of a tune with an auto-tuned vocal from Brenda in the slower, softer bridge “Violent Descent” ends, again Zach is on fire here.

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Five Hundredth Year: A Rose from Ashes