MetalBite Review by Joshua on 11/27/2004
Swedish death metal is propagating southward, and the Dutch are perfecting its method. Fire Reflects in Ashes
is precisely the type of Swedish death metal that most musicians have all but abandoned: No keyboards, no non-traditional instruments, five guys with guitars, bass and talented drums. Include some interesting hook lines, catchy rhythms, and all the trappings of vintage Swedish heavy metal, and thatís a quick description of Instil
Hereís another way of looking at them: Picture a mixture of The Haunted
, Arch Enemy
, The Crown
, and Edge of Sanity
. Add a hardcore influence to the vocals. Master it at Antfarm Studios -- Denmarkís other
contribution to civilization, right after Elephant beer -- so it sounds just like The Haunted. Youíre done. That was easy, wasnít it?
are clearly talented, but they donít distance themselves very much from their influences; rather than covering new or experimental ground, theyíre improving on well-honed musical ideas. Granted, this is a common technique for young bands. It enables a band like Instil
to write interesting music with very little experience. Unfortunately, though, the end result is predictable: excellent songs that are only transiently entertaining, because their material is never groundbreaking enough to be lastingly memorable.
Iím not suggesting this is a bad album. Iím not even calling it unoriginal. It just isnít especially groundbreaking. In fact, Fire Reflects in Ashes
has a few excellent songs -- the title track, ďChimeraĒ, and ďTransientĒ stand out as shining examples. It even shows off real, promising talent. However, this band does almost nothing their musical influences donít -- unless you count a hilarious Tom Petty
cover. Itís great Swedish death metal, in the vein of The Haunted and The Crown, but it could benefit from some diversification.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
out of 10