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January 9, 2004

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Thank you, Jade Tree Records, for this album. From Ashes Rise are a hardcore (and that is meant in a relatively true sense of the word, this is not a metal-hardcore hybrid) band that has been around since 1997. Coming from Portland, OR by way of Nashville they stick to the basics and with their debut release for Jade Tree, From Ashes Rise really put together an exciting listen.

Nightmares kicks off with a wallop. “Reaction” absolutely shreds as John Wilkerson’s vocals add a real sense of urgency to the music. Dual guitars help to move the songs from point to point causing the album to be absolutely ferocious and relentless throughout. The production by Matt Bayles is one thing that definitely helped this band reach their true potential on this release.

The lyrics are inspiring and are of the political, social awareness kind. Lyrics that actually mean something are becoming such a rarity, that it is so great to see punk bands still embracing their political punk roots - so kudos to From Ashes Rise.

While the disc does become repetitive with repeated listens, this is exactly the kind of album to put in to get your blood pumping. No new ground is tread here, but that’s not completely necessary with the style of music that From Ashes Rise are striving to achieve. One can’t really knock From Ashes Rise for not being particularly creative when they pull of the style so well.

From Ashes Rise’s Nightmares is a great hardcore punk release that is probably one of the better to come out in 2003; it’s right up there with Paint It Black’s CVA. Don’t put this album in expecting something brand new sounding that will blow your top. But you have to admire these guys because they play with such passion and energy.


Jon Thorland