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Eowyn: Beautiful Ashes
Eowyn is a Nashville – based, female - lead vocal, progressive/metal Christian band that truly rocks. Their new album, Beautiful Ashes, just lifts off from start to finish and never leaves you hanging.
The band is made up of Eowyn, who writes the lyrics and sings all vocals; Travis Wyrick and Rob Tate, play guitar; Mike Dearing, on bass and lead guitar; and Lester Estelle on drums. Dakotah Tate plays guest guitar.
The album was produced by Travis Wyrick, (P.O.D., Disciple, and Pillar), at Lakeside Studios. Eowyn has penned four top 20 National Christian Rock singles and she and the band have been touring for years.
Ok…so how does it sound?
"You Had To" rockets forward with some very cool guitar buzz effects and Eowyn reaching out with soft vocals, "Pride fooled me once, but you know this…it won't encompass me again". And she means it! The sincerity in her voice is backed up by launching power lead guitar and the thundering thud and punch of the drums. "You saved me from myself. You turned my life right back again". After reading the story of her financial losses and exit from the music industry, on the website, you know this is a sincere song of redemption. Her voice delivers the sincerity with enthusiasm rarely matched in this genre. Those drums will rock your walls…and so will the grinding guitars.
The title song, "Beautiful Ashes", which there is a You Tube video available, (which definitely should be viewed), lays out the full story of the financial collapse back in 2008, her strength in faith, and return to the industry with an even more powerful album of songs. The track is full of more power guitar and drums than anyone has a right to play. The band delivers the message of the song with cut – throat precision and it lifts your spirits as the mood of the music flows from regret to thanksgiving. Excellent power track.
"More than Yesterday" slows things down to give you the softer side of Eowyn's vocals mixed well with cool keys, perfect bass effects, and excellent supporting percussion. Eowyn's vocals, full of soft cool delivery, with lyrics, like "'cause here in this place you will see extraordinary things, more than yesterday". "When you seek you will find, when you knock the doors will open wide". Yah, extraordinary vocals…matched well with excellent musical support.
"Fail – Safe" is easily my favorite track on the album. I loved all of the songs on the album, but this one, with its excellent and memorable melody is easy to enjoy on first listen, and stays with you long after. The lead guitars, bass, and drums are more powerful than on any of the other songs. You can tell Eowyn is having fun singing this one too. The feeling and strength of her vocals dancing through this one is unmistakable. That orchestrated warm – up of string - like effects is spectacular. Brilliant!
"Dream" keeps the intensity from "Fail – Safe" going, with more of those well placed string arrangements dancing and bouncing around Eowyn's voice. Excellent power chords from bass and lead…and the drums…oh yah! "Dream, just dream…don't you throw it all away". "Till you do what you say and live what you mean". Yah…a fight for your right song if I've ever heard one!
More power, but this time with some excellent rhythm, flows from "Cliché". The guitar riffs grind and mingle with those banging drums and Eowyn's fast paced vocal delivery. Almost takes you back to a Berlin type of 80s song…only much better. Eowyn's voice bounces between a Terri Nunn, (on "Metro"), when she's singing a fast – paced track like this, or a slow-paced song, and Alanis Morissette when she's singing angst. Yah…nice.
"Burning Pages" slows things down again at the beginning, but the explosion of drums and guitar following Eowyn's vocals, "Still I wonder to ignite, chapters real", bring things back to a fever pitch. Nice melody on "While waiting on my fairytale"…and more of that Morissette vocal sound. Good stuff.
The cool quick pace, percussion and keys that open "Alive", along with Eowyn's echo voice effect, will take you back to Berlin again. Especially with those long voice holds on "Tonight I wanted to eject. I'm so alive". Definitely…you can feel it, as well as hear it.
"All I Need" is a good serious track opening with that powerful thud of guitar and sonic drums before, "Take this cup from my hands. Is it half full or empty?" ""Please pour out your mercy". ""So I pray". No question as to the authentic inspiration for this song. The support of the drums and guitars is simply breathlessly perfect! Probably the second best track on the album.
"The Music Box", the closer is full of keys, like a music box. "Please don't turn away, and love me". More emotion than you can feel on entire albums. Again, the authenticity is there. You know it's coming from the heart.
This is one of the best albums I have found this year. Searching does pay off…always has over time. Beautiful Ashes is a "greatest hits" compilation already. There are no extras here – all top notch tracks of faith, devotion, redemption, strength, and holding on to your dreams despite what life throws in front of you.
Now…all you have to do is go give it a listen. Myself…I can't wait for the follow - up.
1. You Had To
2. Beautiful Ashes
3. More Than Yesterday
4. Fail – Safe
7. Burning Pages
9. All I Need
10. The Music Box
Added: September 18th 2012
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Eowynmusic.com
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