From Ashes to New – Panic
Released: August 28, 2020
Danny Case| clean vocals
Matt Brandyberry | rap vocals
Lance Dowdie | lead guitar, bass
Matt Madiro | drums
Calling all Linkin Park fans… you’re gonna wanna listen to this one. Promise.
Pennsylvania’s hip-hop metal hybrid From Ashes To New are back with their third album, Panic. Though they have undertaken a number of line up changes, this new record features the same lineup as the bands breakthrough release in 2018, The Future.
When I first listened to From Ashes To New, I was honestly shook with how much Danny Case’s vocals sounded like Chester Bennington, even Matt Brandyberry’s raps are a spawn of Mike Shinoda’s. It’s like if Linkin Park and Ocean Grove had a music baby, it would be From Ashes To New.
‘Scars That I’m Hiding’ kicks the album off with a melodic crowd, to be honest I think the NRL (yeah yeah I’m from QLD don’t judge me) will be playing this before an ad break in the near future. It features Anders Fridén from In Flames, though his vocals are barely noticeable which is a damn shame. It’s redeemed through a superb delivery by Case, his raspy vocals echoing such an immense amount of pain and urgency.
The track ‘Brick’ offers us some electronic elements and is the first track with Brandyberry’s rapping, though track ‘Blind’ really highlights his incredible skill through rapid, full throttle raps that blend so effortlessly into the fiery chorus of this song.
‘SideFX’ begins with an absolutely killer, brutal scream, followed by lyrics ‘fuck me up’ and it really did just that. The rest of the song falls a bit flat however, the chorus being quite a generic melody that ends up feeling a bit repetitive.
‘Panic’ was the first single the band released from the album and includes one tasty af breakdown. The screaming layers overlapping the cleans add a whole new dimension, both Case’s and Brandyberry’s vocals ricochet off each other like a bullet off a metal plate, which is fitting since this is the most metal song on the album. Definitely my favourite track and not just because it belongs on a Need For Speed soundtrack.
‘Bulletproof’ is teeming with hefty guitar riffs and punchy vocals, I can’t help but envisage this track appearing in a DC movie. Ya know, when the good guys are readying up for the big fight at the end. The final two tracks on the album do a great job to bring the album to a close and leave the listener on a high. ‘Death Of Me’ in particular, I love the nostalgic feel through chunky guitar reminiscent of early-mid 2000’s (take me back to Soundwave).
The fusion of rap, rock, electronic and heavy metal definitely shines brightest on the tracks that are heavier instrumentally, as the vocals come across substantially more aggressive and hard hitting. I feel the overall effect gets a little lost on some of the lighter, more mainstream sounding tracks like ‘What I Get’ or ‘Wait For Me’, when you take away that heavy layer you’re just left with tracks that are still good, but less progressive and pack less of a punch.
I personally haven’t been attracted to this sort of sound since the Transformers movie soundtrack. Nonetheless, I entirely appreciate what From Ashes To New have manifested here and believe it’ll appeal to a wide audience due to their undeniable ability to merge a number of genres into 11 tracks.
I can imagine it must be super hard to be frequently compared to such a huge music icon like Linkin Park, but From Ashes To New do a great job in pulling it off. They’ve added heavy metal and innovative electronic components to make it their own fresh sound, creating a record that should not only be a big hit now, but a big hit for many years to come. If you still listen to Linkin Park on the reg but also like a lil more heavy metal spice here and there, this album is perfect for you.
From Ashes To New – Panic tracklisting
1. Scars That I’m Hiding
3. What I Get
7. Wait For Me
10. Death Of Me
11. Change My Past