Rating:
7.0
Shadowgarden - Ashen
27 August 2010


01. Shadowplay
02. Last Summer
03. With Love And A Bullet
04. The Withering Of Mine
05. Sorrow's Kitchen
06. 1:40 AM
07. Murky Waters
08. Way Down Low
09. Empty Days
10. Slowmotion Apocalypse


Album release date in US: 08.31.2010

Recorded at Dead Dog Farm Studios - Säffle, Sweden
Drum recorded in Sound vs Science Studio with Focusrite ISA 828 preamps and Rode, ADK, Shure, Sennheiser microphones

Produced by Johan Ericson & Andy Hindenäs
Mixed & Mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios, Örebro, Sweden

Lyrics by Johan Ericson, except "The Withering Of Mine" by Anders Jacobsson
All music by Johan Ericson & Andy Hindenäs

Cover artwork by Rafael Resende
Album layout by Archetype Design
Photo by Anna Synnerö


Draconian, yes, I'm mentioning this name firstly so that it might catch your interest in case you're bored reading just another review. Johan Ericson of Draconian and Doom:VS fame seems way too productive these years and since he's into a gothic/doom metal band and owns a pure doom metal project, well, guess what, he managed to form a band in which he will pour his gothic rock/metal influences/ideas. Alongside Johan stands Draconian ex-guitarist of the pre-Where Lovers Mourn era, Andreas Hindenäs, with special guests on the female vocals Lisa Johansson and Jerry Torstennson on the drumming, of course being members of the aforementioned band, so what we've got here is a pure Draconian project one way or another.

So, the name of the band is Shadowgarden and i'm here to talk about their debut album, Ashen. The main idea is gothic rock structure the Sisters Of Mercy way with a heavy distortion when it comes to the guitars, of course the melodious harmonics have more intense references, but it's a metal-up-your-bras gothic rock work with slight keyboards that unleashes a heavier air and some Sentenced memories. Of course Ashen couldn't have left behind the whole more appealing and pleasing vibe of the general Finnish melancholic rock/metal scene which is present some times. The guitar work is pretty good and inspired, with enough complimenting acoustic passages, melodic leads/riffing and gothic rock oriented chords whereas the drumming is well-interpreted with interesting passages without exaggerating, it's not needed anyway. As for the vocals, Lisa enriches the overall atmosphere whenever she makes her appearance and Johan's melodic voice which keeps a kind of boiling tone lends a blending of Sentenced from the Frozen-Crimson era and Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes' most melodic aspect from the One Second-Paradise Lost period. Only on the concluding composition, "Slowmotion Apocalypse" some shy grunts distort the whole place a bit.

Friends of pleasing to the ear emotional gothic rock/metal will actually enjoy this and it's a good chance for Draconian fans to get to know another aspect of Johan Ericson. Ashen consists of 10 compositions and it doesn't surpass the 42 minutes in duration, something very good for what the album has to offer, no, it won't tire, but the sound harmony in it is more than that and this means that it tends to sound a bit monotonous. There's some kind of idea recycling which kills the diversity manner at times and, apparently, Lisa Johansson is not enough. No, it's not a bad album, it's actually good, but just good, a pleasant listen to keep you company from time to time whenever you want to cherish professional production and pleasing melodic moments.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9


 



Written on 09.11.2010 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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Scream8tor - 10.11.2010 at 07:12  
Cool album. I've been spinning this one for several weeks. For some reason this album reminds me of Lake of Tears - which is a good thing.
Merchant of Doom - 10.11.2010 at 12:30  
They've obviously run out of money...
DerRozzengarten - 10.11.2010 at 14:00  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 10.11.2010 at 12:30

They've obviously run out of money...

on the news, "Draconian have opened a donate account, feel free to offer anything you like, it will be very much welcome in this crisis period"
ndawkn - 12.02.2011 at 15:20  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 10.11.2010 at 12:30

They've obviously run out of money...


Or they actually like making music and cant stop it

Gotta check this project out..

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