Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FAITH IN ASHES show review 10/30/08 w/WATAIN at Volume 11 Tavern Raleigh, NC

FAITH IN ASHES show review 10/30/08 w/WATAIN at Volume 11 Tavern Raleigh, NC

This show review also appears on the myspace blog at:

at Volume 11 Tavern Raleigh, North Carolina Oct. 30th, 2008

Back in the early part of 2008 a friend of mine told me about some bands playing a nearby club. He told me one of them was a Black Metal band. I was apprehensive since the club he was talking about wasn't known for putting on decent Metal shows. Maybe in the past but not now in 2008. Still I had nothing to do that evening so my destination was the club. This was the night where I was introduced to sounds of FAITH IN ASHES. They were the third band on the bill. At that time they were a five piece act with two guitarists, drummer, bassist and lead vocalist. Also they were crunched together on the club's small stage. They played a melodic style of Black Metal accented with neo-classical influences. I was completely surprised by them that night. While the lion's share of USBM (United States Black Metal) acts are taking their influences straight from BURZUM, DIMMU BORGIR or early EMPEROR. Here was this band from Raleigh, North Carolina who sounded more like early CHILDREN OF BODOM or a more blackened OPETH. That night I promised myself that I would keep an eye on FAITH IN ASHES. Especially if they get a chance to play a bigger venue.

Well as the months passed I did see that FAITH IN ASHES were playing larger venues. Unfortunately I missed all those opportunities to catch their shows. That was until this night October 30th, which as a youth we use to call "Hell Night". Sweden's Black Metal warriors, WATAIN, were playing the Volume 11 Tavern here in Raleigh, North Carolina and FAITH IN ASHES were also on the bill along with BOOK OF BLACK EARTH and WITHERED. Obviously this was going to be an incredible show since I sold my soul to WATAIN a while ago. In fact their Sworn To The Dark CD was on our SCUMFEAST METAL's Best of 2007 list. They were second only to ASTARTE's CD. But of course this was the perfect chance to catch FAITH IN ASHES in their element. And definitely an important role they had this night. They were to open an incredible Black Metal show on Hell Night.

When FAITH IN ASHES took the stage this night I immediately noticed two major changes since the last time I saw them. The first is that they've added a sixth member, Greg Meckley, on keyboards. This was an obvious move to enhance their sound making them more symphonic or epic. The second thing was that they were all wearing corpse paint. Up until this point the band's motto was no corpse paint and no fashion. The latter part was still the same. They came on stage wearing what I would call street clothes, black of course. Later on I would find out that their wearing of corpse paint was in honor of Halloween. On a side note I'd say that their new keyboardist, Greg Meckley,looked the best since he wore his like Abbath from IMMORTAL. Alright enough for stage presence, onto the music.

After an epic sounding keyboard opening FAITH IN ASHES blazed forth onto the crowd their Black Metal salvo. Immediately I realized Micah Moses's vocal quality has surpassed what I heard him do before. His death growls were meaner than a starved pitbull bitch in heat and his harsh screams were much better than before too. How harsh you ask? Imagine your 99 year old granny after smoking a carton of Lucky Strikes and downing 3 mason jars of old time Johnston County shine. Yeah that kind of harsh is what I'm talking about. Plus Micah was in full theatrical mode on this night. Whipping his body in front of the crowd like a possessed pantomime.

For those of you new to FAITH IN ASHES who plan on checking out their songs on the band's myspace site after reading this, here's a warning. The songs on there are older demos so don't judge them now for their past efforts. This was especially true at this show. Musically FAITH IN ASHES are on their way to creating something artistic irrespective of genre trends. During their performance I was moving from one side of the venue to the other. Just trying to hear every bit of what was being played. Whether it was guitarist Adam Johnson's intricate solos or guitarist Jesse O'Neal's abrasive riffing, both were mapping a construct beyond the confines of the genre. Together they laid down an unabashed cold melodic flow during their thirty minute set. As far as the midsection of the band, both bassist Jeff Pertz and drummer Justin Valletta never once went overboard on rhythm section hyperbole. And the keyboard playing by Greg Meckley was an added subtlety which made FAITH IN ASHES overall this night sound skilled.




November, 14 2008 08:00 PM - Berkeley Cafe @ Raleigh, North Carolina

December, 6 2008 08:00 PM - NC Death Fest @ Volume 11 Raleigh, North Carolina


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