Gothic Knights - Up From The Ashes 2003 Limb Music reviewed by: EC
1. Power and the Glory 2. Warrior of Faith 3. Down in Flames 4. Up from the Ashes 5. Vampyre 6. The Witching Hour 7. Sleepy Hollow 8. Guardian Archangel 9. Heaven's Fire 10. Dear Queen 11. The 13th Warrior BONUS TRACKS 12. The Machine 13. Hungry Like The Wolf
I've always loved these guys, simply being proud of the fine American red, white, & blue metal that these guys put out. This is just classic, traditional metal in the same vein as "Nightbreaker" era Riot, Omen, and Iced Earth.
"Up From The Ashes" marks New York's Gothic Knights' third album to date, and in my opinion the band's best work. This is a more mature approach to songwriting, musicianship, and a much tighter, precise sound. This also marks the return of original vocalist Rick Sanchez, who sang on the group's self-titled debut before handing the mike over to Bryan Avatar for the band's sophomore release, "Kingdom Of The Knights". Now, Sanchez is back, and Gothic Knights are in strong contention to share the US power crown with October 31.
I've always loved the fast guitars, with the heavy harmony and signature breaks and leads. This album finds more of that, with a slightly more heavy sound, geared to please all fans of this genre. Gothic Knights are American-made metal, and with this album they don't try to go European. Sure, tracks like "Warrior Of Faith" and "Guardian Archangel" are blissful, European power in all its metal glory, but opener "Power And The Glory" reeks of US 80s metal. The same can be said for the machine-gun rapid fire of the title track, "Up From The Ashes", with its Savatage undertow courtesy of guitarist John Tsantakis.
The group goes against the grain to add some doomy passages, with "Vampyre" and "The Witching Hour" both having that Sabbath grind crossed with the Canadian assault of Anvil. What really sets this apart is the fine, traditional vocals of Rick Sanchez, who does a great job putting this band back in its place, helping the US get back on track with the global metal movement.
"Up From The Ashes" is a fine release, and the perfect debut for the group's new label, Limb Music. Its great to see these guys back in action, and lets hope "Up From The Ashes" is a sure sign that Gothic Knights will stick around for the long haul.