Ashes to Animation is the debut full-length from Ohio's Static Tension, and follows up their 2017 EP Out of Reach. The quartet of Rob Rom (vocals), Greg Blachman (guitar, backing vocals), Brian Spurrier (bass), and Tony Sager (drums) play a mix of brooding grunge and progressive metal, taking the vocal styles of acts like Alice in Chains and Nirvana and blending that with some of the fiery, complex instrumentation of early Rush as well as some occasional doom guitar riffs a la Black Sabbath. "Bury My Body" is a great example of this, with Rom's angst ridden vocals darting in and out of some intricate rhythms and equally complex guitar riffery courtesy of Blachman. The poignant yet hard hitting "No Return" again shows the depth of Rom's pained vocal delivery, and he also shines on the textured "Got to Give", a tune also noteworthy for some tasty guitar solos and riffs. Of course, there is a 9+ minute epic here, titled "Serpentine", which brings to mind the great Tool, as 'serpentine' guitar lines and drum passages slither and crawl for roughly half the duration before manic riffing and scorching leads interject, eventually giving way to a similar conclusion to the tracks into. Well done.
Overall, Ashes to Animation is a pleasant listen, the only real negative I can say is that it's a long album and the pacing of many of the tracks is somewhat similar. Production is also a bit raw & muddy, but I think that pretty much fits the style of music the band are going for here. Definitely worth a listen, so hop on over to their bandcamp page which is linked below and check it out.
Bury My Body
Got To Give
Where's The Air?