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Rites Of Ash: Like Venom

The press release that came with Like Venom said something like "listen to this- you'll be pleasantly surprised".

I agree I was pleasantly surprised. I was under the impression this was Rites Of Ash first album, without a doubt in my mind, but then I went to find their Website and was surprised that they have made more than just this one album. Now that was a surprise, I had listened with a debut in my mind and was flabbergasted, after discovering a back catalog that changed. Not that I do not like the album anymore, I do but I started listening with a different ear.

Here I now had found myself a band with more works to their name. The title of the album is a real good one in this case because the music is nearly 'venomous', as it takes hold of your ears and never lets it go. 11 catchy songs with a nasty guitar and heavy rhythms . This will really hold you, the music is heavy & melodic, think Snow Patrol, Train, and bands like that. The resemblance to 3 doors down and the likes is stunning, but they do for the most part have their own sound. I just cannot believe I had never heard of Rites Of Ash before.

A great future lies ahead for this band with this kind of catchy AOR music.

Track listing:
01 Only Human
02 Redemption
03 Toxic(Her Lips Are Like Venom)
04 Burn
05 Dead Side Of Hollywood
06 Three Leaf Clover
07 The Sleeper
08 Disaffected
09 Breathless
10 Weight Of My World
11 Hand Granade Heart
12 Only Human(Radio Edit)

Added: October 29th 2010
Reviewer: Gert Hulshof
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2115
Language: english

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Rites Of Ash: Like Venom
Posted by Jordan Blum, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-10-29 10:41:31
My Score:

Rites of Ash certainly has an interesting aesthetic. Labeling themselves as pop/rock/electronica, they add some unexpected elements to a standard alternative rock sound, which serves to simultaneously bring freshness to the music and, well, make it a bit annoying. Their new LP, Like Venom, carries unconventional production that, while certainly unique, may turn off fans of the genre.

Hailing from Washington, D.C., the quintet includes 80-two, Lazzo, Lumer, and Berry. Their range of influences in surprising: Linkin Park, Billy Joel, Disturbed, T-Pain, and Lady Gaga all melt equally into the Rites of Ash stew. Such diverse taste does give Like Venom some surprising aspects, but it also means Rites of Ash may not have a clear target audience. And besides this exclusive incorporation, their music is totally unremarkable.

"Only Human" opens the album with everything Rites of Ash has to offer. There's heavy guitar riffs and ominous synths, making it perfect for a summer blockbuster. However, there's also the ugly hip-hop phoniness of "auto tune" and the background vocal accompaniment similar to the interaction between Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. The first three tracks combine these traits in varying ways.

A shocker comes when "Burn" unleashes its growls, obviously drawing from their metal influences more than their urban (although they're still present). However, just because it's a new direction for the album doesn't make it good; in fact, besides the horns, it's trash. "Three Leaf Clover" is the most affective track; there's chanting, emotional singing and complementary guitar arpeggios. It's a clear choice for a single, and it's sure to get girls swooning at concerts. "Weight of the World" isn't so bad (though it's not very good either).

The album closes with "Hand Grenade Heart," a track that's more intriguing because its title seems inspired by Green Day's fantastic concept record, American Idiot, than the actual music, which sounds identical everything else on the album.

Like Venom is 10% innovation and 90% ordinary. There are countless heavy alternative rock bands that follow this formula, and while adding a hip-hop and electronica coating may bring a slight novelty, it is just that; something that intrigues instantly and then fuses with the rest of the mediocrity. Rites of Ash may actually hurt themselves going one step beyond just being another run of the mill rock band; they use production that many rock listeners reject, and thus they will dismiss this band while they adore others that are just as average.

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