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On disc: Shadowgarden

Ashen - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Napalm Records - 2010)

Shadowgarden is a side project of Draconian guitarists Andreas Hindenäs and John Ericson. For the recordings of Ashen they asked their Draconian mates Lisa Johansson and Jerry Torstensson for a helping hand. Their aim was to create "Gothic Rock with some serious catchy choruses" - to quote them.
Ashen kicks off with Shadowplay, a heavy gothic rocker with a catchy vocal line and some slow passages. Musically they are like a mix of Sentenced and Charon (Tearstained era), when Lisa Johansson joins in - e.g. With Love And A Bullet - they sound a bit more like Draconian or like a variety of their main band. The song structure more or less the same for all songs, but on the other hand that can be said about most gothic rock / metal albums. Quite heavy is The Withering Of Mine, but also offers slower passages which are more expressive. It's the vocals which make the difference at 1:40 AM, coz they stick to the usual theme, but somehow the vocals are more intense... And again they remind me of old Charon. Murky Waters is one of my favorites, mainly its the guitar play, but also the melancholy vocals which won me over.
The artwork is Art Noveau inspired and don't give away what to expect, but it fits to the band name and music, coz their songs ain't dark or depressive.
Check out the band at their MySpace, if you are into gothic rock / metal. I recommend: Murky Waters, 1:40 AM and Empty Days.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           ©2008-2015 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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