The self-titled debut album from ASHES OF ARES, the band featuring Matt Barlow (ex-ICED EARTH), Van Williams (ex-NEVERMORE) and Freddie Vidales (ex-ICED EARTH), sold around 900 copies in the United States in its first week of release. Issued on September 17 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was recorded in part at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida with legendary producer Jim Morris (ICED EARTH, OBITUARY, JON OLIVA'S PAIN, JAG PANZER). It was made available as a limited CD in a digipak, including a bonus track, as well as in two different 2LP versions.
"Ashes Of Ares" track listing:
01. The Messenger
02. Move The Chains
03. On Warrior's Wings
05. This Is My Hell
06. Dead Man's Plight
07. Chalice Of Man
08. The Answer
09. What I Am
10. The One-Eyed King
11. The Answer (acoustic version; bonus track)
The video for the song "This Is My Hell" can be seen below. The clip was directed by David Brodsky (MUNICIPAL WASTE, WHITECHAPEL, KYLESA, REVOCATION) and was shot in an old steel foundry in Newburgh, New York along the Hudson River.
Matt Barlow recently told DeadRhetoric.com about the songwriting process for "Ashes Of Ares": "It really is for the first time being in total creative control of lyrics and vocal melodies. That's a big deal for me. It's a big step, but without Freddie writing the music — he wrote 99.9 however much of the music — it would be different. I'm a music writer, but not writer per se. I did write the basis for "Move The Chains", but my guitar playing sucks [laughs], but Freddie made it sound like actual guitar playing, and I did "The Answer", which I wrote acoustically. It's really more… I'm going to take the hits — good or bad — as far as lyrics and melodies because it is all me. Freddie wrote 99.9 [percent], however much of the music, but it's really this collaborative effort. Van took the ideas we had and wrote these cool drum parts that we didn't even think of — it changed the dynamic of the songs. It's a really cool joint collaboration, and we're really proud."
Regarding the album title and the cover artwork, which was designed by drummer Van Williams, Van stated: "We discussed a few ideas, but once we had developed the band logo, it felt right to use it as the introduction to the band along with the name as the focal point for our first album. The artwork, for me, reflects where each of us has been and how we are coming together from our pasts in this new endeavour."
ASHES OF ARES is:
Matthew Barlow - Vocals
Freddie Vidales - Guitar/Bass
Van Williams - Drums
Gio Geraca - Guitar (session/touring member only)
Dean Sternberg - Bass (session/touring member only)
ASHES OF ARES is a band which represents the culmination of experiences, trials and tribulations of its founding members. Within months of their departures from the iconic metal bands ICED EARTH and NEVERMORE, the trio came together with a renewed drive to create a sound which is a true collaboration of their personal influences, ideas and visions. Armed with the knowledge acquired through years of the writing, touring and recording cycle, and with the support of an army of loyal fans across the globe, ASHES OF ARES is poised to carve out a new legacy and stand alongside those who have helped pave the way.
"This Is My Hell" video:
Making of "This Is My Hell" video:
"Dead Man's Plight" lyric video: