Ashbury - Eye Of The Stygian Witches

Ashbury - Eye Of The Stygian Witches

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(CD, High Roller Records, 2018)

I can't claim to be one of them who have known ASHBURY since dawn of time. No, I was quite late in discovering them but I can indeed say that when I finally got around listening to “Endless Skies”, I got hooked immediately and still am. I love the sense of melody in the music and the Davis brothers have an outstanding ability to write captivating vocal lines.

But could ASHBURY really repeat the success from back in the days some 30 odd years later? Sure thing, they proved that in 2004 with “Something Funny Going On” and now again with "Eye Of The Stygian Witches”. Right from start, the unmistakable tone and trademark type of melody penetrate the rhythm and even though “End of All Time” is laid back it has that special nerve mainly present in a live-performance and rarely captured on record which creates intensity despite the mellow beat.

The Blues feeling coming through in “Good Guitar” makes the song rougher than what’s normally delivered from ASHBURY. Something I certainly don't mind. Again, the vocal line stands out. Another thing that always stuns me with ASHBURY is the sync between Randy and Rob's guitars, especially prominent during acoustic parts when they sync together even without a drumbeat behind it. “Summer Fades Away” is a perfect sample of this. Also “Out Of The Blue” qualifies for the same reason. The melancholy in this one is absolutely fantastic and the mix between soft and distorted works perfectly. This is easily one of my favourites from "Eye Of The Stygian Witches”. Heavy “Faceless Waters” is another much likable track, again that Blues-y feel is there. The distorted guitar-sound is smooth and raw at the same time and when the strict rhythm is loosened up in the chorus it all becomes even better. Towards the end the pace is picked up somewhat and on comes a long instrumental passage. I just love songs that don’t follow a standard structure.

The wrap-up of the album with the title track “Eye Of The Stygian Witches" works really well too. The epic nature of the title-track creates drama and “All My Memories” feels like a sad ending of a movie. And it feels quite sad that this is the ending of the album. It's very easy to get lost in ASHBURY's music, the groove and gnawing rhythms are spellbinding and luckily it's just to hit play again once it ends. It's definitely worth listening to “Eye Of The Stygian Witches” over and over again.

8/10


Links:

www.AshburyOnline.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/Ashbury-USA


Tracklist:

01. End Of All Time
02. Good Guitar
03. Summer Fades Away
04. Celtic Cross
05. Waited So Long
06. Out Of The Blue
07. Faceless Waters
08. Searchin'
09. Amber Glass
10. Eye Of The Stygian Witches
11. All My Memories


Lineup:

Randy Davis - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Rob Davis - Vocals, Acoustic guitar
John Bujak - Guitars, Harmony Vocals
Joey Moreno - Bass
Eddie Hosmer - bass
John Gimmler - Drums