Friday, 2 January 2015

Ashes And Iron - The Wind Takes A Side (Album Review)

The Wind Takes a Side cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 16 December 2014
Label: Good Die Young Music/Encapsulated Records

The Wind Takes A Side – Track Listing

1.Superstition Drags Us Down 10:20
2.Not All Dying Words Are True 08:31
3.Invisible Wires 02:46
4.The Wind Takes a Side 09:58


Indie-Rock, Post-Rock, Metal influenced instrumental band from St. Louis, MO.


Guitar - Chris Denton
Guitar - Ian Mahan
Guitar - David Miller
Bass - Dave Goodman
Drums - Thad Martin


Ashes And Iron first released their debut release – Silens – back in 2008. It has slowly started to receive great reviews over the past 6 years or so. I even featured them in 2011 when I started the blog. Ashes And Iron play Instrumental Sludge/Post-Metal music with a strong ambient current proving this band have a haunting identity of their own. It has been a long time coming but Ashes And Iron are back with their 2nd release – The Wind Takes A Side. A 31-minute album that highlights that why I have missed Ashes And Iron so much. Nothing much has changed from their last emotionally charged album as Ashes And Iron continue their epic Doom and Gloom approach as it leaves you with a feeling of tranquillity and hope.

Opening track – Superstition Drags Us Down – is a heavy laiden post-metal affair, which sees Ashes And Iron combine post-rock dream-like soundscapes with the heavier Sludge/Post-Metal approach that gives the album a real sense of urgency and self-awareness you rarely find. It is a beautifully written and played track. However, the little things such as ambient noises that you miss give the song a real emotional edge. Ashes and Iron don’t hold back moving from blissful post-rock euphoria to the heavier and more destructive post-metal carnage they have bottled up for the last 6 years or so.

2nd track – Not All Dying Words Are True – starts off as a soothing post-rock interlude with traces of ambient noises mixed with world-weary keyboard sounds slowly building up the atmosphere before the band destroy everything in sight when they switch to their heavier musical identities. The song pulls no punches as it makes you feel all lost and alone in the world. It is an intelligent offering that fans of Pelican and Russian Circles go crazy for. The song may start very gloomy but it ends on a more positive note with the band offering brief glimpses of hope within their music.

3rd track – Invisible Wires – is a short 3-minute interlude with the band venturing into experimental post-rock/ambient style of sounds. It is an intriguing song though one that does not really go anywhere as the other songs run from 8 to 10 mins in length. It does not have enough time for the listener to become emotionally involved with song compared to the other tracks on the album. Though I will admit, there are some great ambient noises to admire here.

The final track – The Wind Takes A Side – is no doubt the standout track from the album, as Ashes And Iron pull no punches where the music is concerned. It is a heavy and emotionally charged track right from the start. It has the right mix of Post-Rock, Post-Metal and experimental Ambient sounds that combine for the musical equivalent to a sharp kick to the head. It is a powerful musical odyssey that had me playing song on multiple listens, as it is a highly addictive song that will leave you in a hypnotic trance. The instrumental work is excellent through out, as the band impress yet again, where it matters most.

The Wind Takes A Side is a stunning album that will appeal to all fans of Instrumental Rock/Metal. It’s a shame the album didn’t have one more epic song to close with as 31 minutes isn’t enough for a band like Ashes And Iron. I hope it is not another 6 years for their next release. My advice is to buy this album now, as it is a must-have record.

Check out their excellent debut record – Silens – from 2008. It ‘s available for free download.

Thanks to Ashes And Iron for the promo. The Wind Takes A Side is available to buy on DD/Vinyl from Good Die Young Music/Encapsulated Records

Words by Steve Howe

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