Rock Till You Blackout with New Release
FROM ASHES TO NEW have risen from their native town of Lancaster, PA like a phoenix with their genre-defying album Blackout. With 12 tracks, the band showcases their eclectic mix of hard rock, nu-metal/hip-hop, alternative, and electronic that pays homage to popular 2000s bands such as Linkin Park.
Thematically, Blackout is considered to be a concept album since it illustrates the feelings of disparity within a pre-apocalyptic world. Coincidentally, the production and recording took place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a time where many of us were faced with a new reality and had to come to terms with the changes of daily routines. For the band, Blackout is a follow-up from their 2016 debut album DAY ONE, which contrastingly deals with the aftermath of an apocalypse.
“Heartache” is the electronic, orchestral track where the singer, Danny Case, is standing up against his ex-lover by claiming that they cannot hurt him more than the “dark place” that he had come from. The song has an accompanying video that visualizes the darkness that was mentioned.
“Nightmare” takes an aggressive turn where there is more heavy-metal screaming vocals and the feelings for the ex-lover have turned more hostile, even going far into calling them a “devil.” Like the previous track, “Nightmare” has an accompanying video with a post-apocalyptic background with images of burning, torn-down building.
“Hate Me Too” is a hard-hitting pop-punk that finds the self-deprecation nature of Case when he admits that he is no good for anyone that tries to come near him. “Hope You’re Happy” includes synths and acoustic guitars as he admits that he is “killing himself” in order to please his partner. To further illustrate his point, he likens the relationship as having a noose around his neck and being stabbed in the back.
“Barely Breathing” starts off as singing, leading into a rapping section that later escalates into full-on screaming by the time the chorus begins. Unlike the previous tracks, this serves as a cry for help as Case begs his lover to take him back.
The electronic, nu-metal “Dead To Me” recalls the days of 2000s emo subculture with the myriad of screaming, pained vocals that overpower the instrumentals. “Monster In Me” is an icy, trap-punk fusion that explores the demons that haunt Case. Vulnerability takes a form in the drum machine-led “Echoes” with lyrics of cynicism about human nature.
The haunting “Armageddon” describes an apocalyptic scenery with darkness, ashes, burning buildings, and the loss of sanity that occurs as they are awaiting the end of the world. “Legacy” is a straight up rock anthem that showcases the fierceness and badassery of the band as they declare their individuality and will not allow others to step on them.
“Until We Break” is the only collaborative track which features Matty Mullins of fellow rock band, Memphis May Fire. As a result, the dose of heavy metal is elevated by two.
The closing track “Broken By Design” is a middle-finger to society where Case proclaims that nobody is perfect and we should accept that we are mere mortals and nothing will matter in the end anyways.
Aside from Danny Case as vocals, the band consists of Matt Brandyberry (rap vocals, keys, synths, programming, guitar), Lance Dowdle (lead guitar), and Mat Madiro (drums.) Since 2013, they have gradually reached the top with millions of streams, sold-out shows, and critical acclaim from publications such as Loudwire and Alternative Press. They are also known for their IDGAF-attitude when it comes to outside influences and their approach on their art. For instance, the band spent a good amount of time with their frequent collaborators and producers Grant McFarland and Carson Slovak while creating Blackout. Case and Brandyberry have nothing but nice things to say about their approach.
“We weren’t going to let other people tell us what to do. We went back to the guys who produced us for a long time, because they worked cohesively with us.”
“We got back to the days of creating music to simply create. We ended up making the most genuine piece of art we could. At the same time, we applied everything we’ve learned as musicians, producers, and writers. We knew we were capable of doing everything bigger and better.”
With their, “I-Can-Do” spirit, these mavericks will continue to innovate the changing landscape with their eclectic fusion of genres that is uniquely theirs.
Watch “Heartache” and “Nightmare” below:
Stream album below: