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Ashbury: Eye of the Stygian Witches

Here's one that we missed in 2018 but it fully deserves to get some rub here in the opening stages of 2019. Ashbury are a Tucson, Arizona band who made their debut in 1983 with their excellent Endless Skies album and then disappeared without a trace. In 2004, the band returned with Something Funny Going On, and now 14 years later they are back once again with The Eye of the Stygian Witches. The current line-up of Ashbury consists of:

Rob Davis - Vocals, acoustic & electric guitar
Randy Davis - Lead Guitar, vocals
John Bujak - Guitars, harmony vocals
Joey Moreno - Bass
John Gimmler - Drums
Eddie Hosmer - Bass

Drawing from inspirations such as Wishbone Ash, Allman Brothers Band, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Outlaws, and Blue Oyster Cult, the music of Ashbury straddles a line that crosses '70s hard rock, Southern Rock, and a touch of folk. Eye of the Stygian Witches kicks off with two blistering rockers that feature the talents of their guitarists Davis & Bujak, "End of All Time" a melodic headbanger with some tasty riffs and plenty of lead guitar, while the more Southern rock flavored "Good Guitar" sees the two axe men launching into some fiery interplay that impresses from start to finish. Davis' passionate vocals permeate the folky "Summer Fades Away", and the delicious acoustic & electric guitar flavors do wonders to the Thin Lizzy sounding "Celtic Cross". "Waited So Long" clocks in at just over 9-minutes, and reminds heavily of vintage Wishbone Ash, multi-part vocal harmonies soaring over crunchy riffs and tasty twin guitar majesty. "Out of the Blue" channels '80s Jethro Tull, and "Faceless Waters" ups the riff-o-rama ante for a prime heavy rock ride. Ashbury dip into majestic blues rock for "Searchin'" and "Amber Glass", and then epic sounding prog & hard rock with the glorious title track, acoustic elements giving way to driving riffs and some wonderfully melodies lead guitar solos. The folky "All My Memories" closes out the album in tranquil fashion, images of Tull again quite strong here.

Ultimately, Eye of the Stygian Witches is a really great album, and one that stacks up quite equally with their debut from the early '80s. This is a perfect example of an underground band that deserves your immediate attention!

Track Listing
1. End of All Time
2. Good Guitar
3. Summer Fades Away
4. Celtic Cross
5. Waited So Long
6. Out of the Blue
7. Faceless Waters
8. Searchin’
9. Amber Glass
10. Eye of the Stygian Witches
11. All My Memories

Added: November 25th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1317
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Ashbury: Eye of the Stygian Witches
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2019-11-25 19:14:12
My Score:

Wow. What a great album this one is. The band is Ashbury which I didn’t know existed before receiving their latest album titled Eye Of The Stygian Witches. And to think these guys have been around since 1980 and released their debut Endless Skies way back in 1983. Then the band went off the radar until 2004 and their album titled Something Funny Going On. Another long hiatus has led us to their latest release. I’m sure glad they decided to carry on because this platter is pure rock and roll bliss. The songs are just so catchy, easily providing a foothold ensuring you’re in it for the long haul. Southern rock, bluesy rock, classic rock, whatever you want to call this, these are some of the tastiest tunes I have heard all year.

The classic rock sounding “End Of All Time” begins the disc with a beautiful melody with great guitar and keyboard layers. I detect a bit of Blue Oyster Cult here. The southern style bluesy rocker “Good Guitar”, the tender “Summer Fades Away” and the sprawling “Waited So Long” are all superb tunes. The acoustic and electric guitar is really quite excellent, as it is throughout the disc. I haven’t even mentioned the vocals yet, one of the best things about this disc. Very smooth and melodic, completely on point including nice harmonies as well. More wonderful keyboards and acoustic guitar can be found in the gentle and powerful “Out Of The Blue”, another choice cut.

Every song is excellent and I can’t say enough about the quality of these eleven tracks. One of the easiest recommends I have heard all year.

» Reader Comments:

Ashbury: Eye of the Stygian Witches
Posted by Tara Root on 2022-04-14 19:39:00
My Score:

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