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Album Reviews : Ashes of December – Dying Is For Fools

By on January 24, 2012

There’s just something about Ashes of December that puts them slightly above the rest. The Queenslanders certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel; anything you’d expect to find in a modern hardcore-slash-metalcore album is in there. There’s the marching-style build-ups designed to get the crowd pumped before a mosh outbreak, there are the somewhat simplistic breakdowns, the three-minute track lengths, and not a whole lot of variety between songs. On the surface, it’s a hardcore-by-numbers album.

But, in this rare case, it just doesn’t matter, because it’s all done so well. Just have a listen to the romantically titled “Suck Shit, Get Fucked”.  After opening with almost black metal sounding ferocity, it drops back into a more standard-metal riff, before a vocal stutter leads into a monster breakdown. None of it is anything new but it’s all drenched in what is simply raw energy, and the riffs are changed up enough that they never get tiresome (which is something special for an album of this style, or any “real metal” album for that matter). That last bit might actually be the key to their successful sound; the music never sits still. It’s constantly changing pace and little nuances are being added or removed from the riffs all the time, and there are clearly influences from various different metal styles, but never to the stage where it becomes messy or loses its moshability. They don’t simply return to the same riff after a breakdown, they move on and throw something fresh at you.

Vocalist Josh Sardana has some serious grunt too, with his deeper yells somewhat reminiscent of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor in parts (before he started losing it), and equally impressive higher screams. And all of this is tied together by a ballsy, thick production that is overflowing with pure power, but still gives each instrument its own clarity.

Dying Is For Fools isn’t likely to convert any hardcore-haters, but nor was it intended to; it’s a party mosh album complete with humorous song titles. It is, however, likely to shoot Ashes of December towards the top of the Australian -core scene. They just do everything that bit better. 7.5/10

Band: Ashes of December
Album: Dying is for Fools
Year: 2011
Genre: hardcore/metalcore
Label: Independent
Origin: Brisbane, Australia

Track listing:
1. Not At The Table, Carlos
2. Dead Tanson
3. Thank You, Mr Sheen
4. Suck Shit, Get Fucked
5. Only Batman Is Forever
6. Dying Is For Fools
7. In Medias Res
8. In The Absence Of Humanity, Press 3 & Hold
9. “Is This The End?”, She Asked


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.