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Ashes 2 Ashes - 'Th3ories' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/54/31/79/ashes-2-ashes-th3ories-44-1520886494.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 12, 2018    
 
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Has too many rough edges, and too many shortcomings to commend itself to its intended audience.

Ashes 2 Ashes is a "Hard Rock studio project" from Huelva, Spain, consisting of Sergio López (guitar, bass, keyboards) and Héctor Núñez (voices, programming and percussion). Between them, they have twenty-five years of experience in the south west Spanish Rock scene and 'Th3ories' is their third release. The duo have given their "obvious roots of Hard Rock, Prog and Soul" a bit of a tweak and a more considered production whilst also (apparently) honing their sound for a more melodic Hard Rock/AOR audience.

To be sure, there are some good things here, though whilst there are bursts of power and energy throughout, ultimately the vocals and melodies lack the quality or subtlety to carry the material. López's sub-Ritchie Blackmore soloing is well worth a listen and is at its best during the Eastern-tinged 'Conspiracy', 'Dilemma' and the more Bluesy 'Evilution'. 'Th3ories' is home to some fine musical passages with well-layered guitar and keyboards edging towards the composed grandeur of classic (Dio-era) Rainbow.
But then there are the rather incongruous vocals; cue "Rock mag" descriptions of singers who sound like they've been gargling razor blades, or, think perhaps of a more abrasive Udo Dirkschneider!

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Once the vocals hit, the tracks often degenerate (solo sections aside) into blurs of aural mediocrity. The exceptions, perhaps, are 'Déjà Vu', which has a touch of Rock Opera about it, and 'Butterfly', which could almost be a Eurovision entry and is one of the few tracks catchy enough to reward repeated listens. I don't want to labour the point, but the least challenging track here is the instrumental closer 'Chaos'. The artwork is provided by Huelva artist Rafa Pinto, and while the band refer to the "shocking artwork", they mean that it's thought-provoking rather than sub-standard! In fact, Pinto's work is superb and, if anything, overshadows the music it's intended to support.

I wanted to like this album more. It's thoughtful, well-presented and indisputably the guys' hearts are in the right places. There is talent on display, but both as an album and at the individual song level, 'Th3ories' just has too many rough edges, and too many shortcomings to commend itself to its intended audience.

Michael Anthony

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