Ashes You Leave
The Cure for Happiness

1. Devil in Disguise
2. Only Ashes You Leave
3. For the Heart, Soul and Mind
4. The Ever-changing
5. Meant to Stray
6. Summer’s End
7. Reality Sad
8. The Cure
9. …for Happiness

Giada “Jade” Etro – lead vocals
Berislav “Bero” Poje – vocals/lead guitar
Matija Rempesic – guitar,
Marta Batinic – violin
Luka Petrovic – bass guitar and
Sasa Vukosav – drums

The Passage Back to Life (1998)
Desperate Existence (1999)
The Inheritance of Sin and Shame (2000)
Fire (2002)
Songs of the Lost (2009)

Ana Toric - flute
Darko Terlevic - keys

Recorded in the G.I.S. studios under Matej Zec’s watchful eye

Released 29/11-2012
Reviewed 21/11-2012

rock n growl

Be prepared to hear the perfect soundtrack to your suicide! That is what the label says about this, the sixth studio album by Croatian band Ashes You Leave who also is said to be the biggest Croatian metal band of all times. That of course means that no Croatian metal band has ever been bigger during the billions of years of history, pretty cool eh? Or pretty pointless to write but this album is said to be the cure for happiness and happiness for me is writing so writing stupidities can be seen as my happiness cured, or maybe I am just loosing the grip of what I am doing. They are fronted by an enchanting lady called Jade, I wonder if she is the one from Story of Jade but I suppose she isn’t. Moreover we are said to be treated to their heaviest album to date and an album of gothic metal, and one thing that is obvious just from looking at the album is that it has an appropriate album cover artwork.

Gothic metal is what it is, quite heavy and mostly paced rather slowly almost presented in a doomy fashion at times. The vocals are mainly female but there is also a growler making some duet parts with the girl, the female vocals are good while the growls are quite average. Have you heard After Forever’s earliest albums? If you have, you have an idea of the sound present if not, think Epica and then darken and depolish it a little bit and you are there, it has a rather dark sound with some strings and such is what that means if you look it up in the namedropping-english dictionary. I think the sound is excellent and the nine songs are varied within the theme but still very well held together thanks to this unifying sound. I must add a bit of a plus point to the violinist though, I mean metal and strings, when done well that is just brilliant. And if you are curios the album has nine tracks and plays for a time just short of 50 minutes that shows you all the female fronted darkness you need.

I think this is a very good album, not only is the female vocals and production good but also the songs are very strong and powerful. I think that it holds your interest rather well throughout and doesn’t even slumber in the slow instrumental track The Cure which introduces the best track on the album … For Happiness, which had me thinking a bit because how many best tracks of an album can you recall that starts with three dots? My answer is none, thing is though that the ending is not the only memorable track because the opening duo are other tracks that sticks with you and these begs to make for this being a very strong album on all accounts. For me it is like this though, that music creates happiness not cures it and as this is an album I like it makes me happier than my normal mood which would suggest that it causes happiness rather than cures it but I guess that is a bit of nitpicking and should I select a soundtrack for my suicide I suppose this one would be amongst the choices.

So is all great and amazing then? well, it rarely is and this album is no exception as it has a few small weaknesses that I have noted after hearing it a dozen or so times. One of these is the growls, they are just dull and ordinary and to me ordinary is boring so they are a bit of a letdown and I would have wanted them to use some clean male singing as well as growls to create a better vocal dynamic. And then there is the fact that the album starts with two tracks that are exceptional and ends with another exceptional track and in between there are a group of good tracks which actually makes you want to skip to the end every time you hear the album. I think they should have moved the second track Only Ashes You Leave to track five or six instead to spread the greatest songs in a decent order but then again all these are just small nitpicks and nothing can detract from the fact that this is a great album on all accounts (bar perhaps the growls).

So, if you are to suicide yourself then you have a good choice of soundtrack here and with the magic of strings in metal you also have some magic to go with it, which means that this is all the music you need for you suiciding. Now all you have to do is select mode of death and you are set to go, lucky me that I had time to write the review before




Label: Rock N Growl Records
Three similar bands: Within Temptation/Epica/Lacuna Coil
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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