Ashes of Your Enemy

The Undying

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Ashes of Your Enemy was formed in the mid-2000s, a time that found hardcore-minded rock moving in different directions. There was standard metalcore, technical metalcore (basically, metalcore meets math rock) and screamo (also known as post-hardcore or melodic hardcore), and on the retro side, there were the bands that longed for pre-'90s hardcore, flaunted their '80s influences like a badge of honor (influences like Sick of It All, Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front), and sent out press releases insisting that they had nothing to do with either metalcore or screamo. The Undying, Ashes of Your Enemy's debut album, is standard metalcore; the angularity, odd time signatures, and math rock tendencies that technical metalcore is known for are nowhere to be found on this 2007 release. Nor is The Undying screamo; this CD does have some of the screaming vocals/clean vocals contrast that one finds in screamo, but when all is said and done, Ashes of Your Enemy have a lot more in common with Hatebreed and Throwdown than they do with screamo bands such as From Autumn to Ashes, Hopesfall, Nora, and the Postman Syndrome. While The Undying offers a bruising, nasty dose of metal/punk ferocity, it also has a sense of groove; Ashes of Your Enemy seem to identify with the sense of groove that has characterized Hatebreed and Throwdown as well as older hardcore-minded metal acts like Pro-Pain. The thing that The Undying lacks is strong and memorable hooks; the angst, frustration, and anger are there, but this album lacks the type of hookiness that has made Hatebreed and Throwdown (and Pro-Pain if you need an older reference) as appealing as they are. Nonetheless, The Undying is not a bad album; the material is generally competent (if less than distinctive), and with the right hooks, Ashes of Your Enemy might make a more memorable contribution to the metalcore scene.

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