Band: Roses For Raychael Release: All We Leave Is Ashes Area: Originally from Newcastle, NSW. Now Melbourne, Victoria. Date of release: Wednesday October 10th, 2018. Genre: Alternative Melodic Metal Recorded, Mixed and Mastered: Rhys Zacher at Spinlight Studio For Fans Of: Closure in Moscow, Northlane, Dream Theatre. Next Gig: ALL WE LEAVE IS ASHES (RELEASE SHOW) at Club Azzurri. October 26th “One day I will be nothing to anyone (but a memory). One day I will lose consciousness and all feeling. All the times I've spent with the ones I love. I won't even have a choice to remember. One day I will be nothing to anyone.”
"ALL WE LEAVE IS ASHES" is the long-awaited debut album from Newcastle/Melbourne-based Alternative Melodic Metal outfit Roses For Raychael. After the success of their "Tanta Anima" EP which was released back in early 2016, the boys have spent the best part of two years working on finishing this release. Besides dropping a couple of singles during that time 'Easier Said Than Done' and 'Premonitions', the band remained pretty under the radar in order to focus on writing and recording new material alongside Rhys Zacher from Spinlight Studio.
The album cover art, designed by Stuart Moncrieff, depicts a young woman with a guy sulking over her shoulder from behind, holding a long-stemmed rose. The use of monochromatic shades with only a slight accent of colour through the rose are to represent the falling apart of a relationship and of life being drained out. It’s a very bleak looking image to highlight all of the complex emotions we experience throughout our lives and this is also reflected a great deal in the album’s lyrical content.
Opening with lead single 'Premonitions', the track highlights the band’s strengths immediately from theatrical string sections, delicate piano chords, intense breakdowns, hard hitting drumming, piercing screams and uplifting cleans. They have a talent for writing songs with a highly elaborate musical production and deeply personal lyrics. Recent single 'Nyctophobia' on the other hand, has much heavier grittier edge and long, gripping guitar solos. This demonstrates how much their songwriting has progressed and improved over the last year or two.
'Blue Grave' rockets off at a much faster pace and even dips into theatrical metal territory with sweeping melodies, underwater sound effects and powerful, roaring screams from lead vocalist Tye. The title track is both haunting and angelic at the same time with solid guitar riffs, experimental synth lines and Celtic-sounding chimes. Older single 'Easier Said Than Done' is another highlight with tight production values, explosive guitar riffs and a gripping vocal delivery.
'Bruises' finds the vocalists switching places with cleans vocalist and bassist Jono taking the reigns on this one. 'Suicide Note' slows things down considerably and is the closest thing to a ballad on this album with Tye showing off his impressive vocal range. It also shows his ability to sing in hushed whispers and spoken dialogue. His vulnerability and brutal honesty about his feelings is truly heartbreaking to listen to.
The album closes with one of their first ever singles 'The Great Inevitable' which was originally released back in December 2014. It may be a strange choice to include this on the album but I guess the band’s logic is that it does indeed fit with the themes of dealing with pain and loss and therefore it doesn’t feel out of place in that sense, essentially coming full circle.
My biggest criticism of this album is the lack of variation between tracks. Whilst there are clear differences in lyrical content, pace and experimental touches, some of the tracks do blend into each other at times. Thankfully there are enough highlights on this album to shine against the more middle-of-the-road sounding songs. This band still has plenty of time to mature and develop their sound with many glimpses of brilliance to be heard on this debut album. Overall, this is a pretty solid effort and really shows the many creative talents that the band has to offer.
"All We Leave Is Ashes" is out October 10th!
Vocals: 8.5/10 Guitars: 9/10 Bass: 8/10 Drums: 8/10 Lyrics: 4/5
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 4/5 Mixing: 8/10 Production: 16/20 Structure: 14/20
Overall: 82/100 Personal Enjoyment: 8.5/10