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Gothic Knights - Up From The Ashes 2003 Limb Music reviewed by: EC

Track Listing
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.


--EC 05.17.04

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.


Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.


All reviews for this band:
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Up From The AshesGothic Knights
2003
Eric Compton5/16/2004



Interviews found from this band:
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Mario CosentinoGothic KnightsEric Compton6/4/2004



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