Album Review: Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
Considering I’m a big fan of melodic death metal I’m surprised I have previously never heard of Ablaze My Sorrow. This is doubly surprising when I find out that the band were part of the melodic death metal scene in Sweden in the 1990’s to early 2000’s. Ablaze My Sorrow formed in 1993 in Falkenberg and released a string of albums before disbanding in 2002. The band reformed in 2016 and Among Ashes And Monoliths is the fifth album by the band and their second post-reformation. It is also the debut album for vocalist Jonas Udd who joined the band in 2019.
Ablaze My Sorrow perform a very Gothenburg style of melodic death metal (which is not surprising considering the close proximity of Gothenburg to Falkenberg) and are very reminiscent of the bands from that scene such as In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates and Sacrilege. It is a classic mix of melodic guitar riffs played with a death metal speed and intensity with harsh vocals. The shrieks and snarls from Jonas Udd sound like a cross between Tomas Lindberg and Mikael Stanne whilst there is also an infrequent use of clean vocals such as on Black Waters and The Cavernous Deep. Whilst this album does have the classic Gothenburg sound it lacks the strength of material that the classic albums and bands from that scene have. The songs are all similar in pace, sound and length meaning that there is very little that sticks out. It is solid melodic death metal but it just doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression. There are some decent tunes scattered about such as Grit which is a fast paced number containing some cool melodic guitar riffs and also Her Cold Embrace which features Jonna Ecklell (formerly of The Project Hate MCMXCIX) on guest vocals.
Among Ashes And Monoliths is a solid yet unspectacular melodic death metal album. Melodic death metal is a genre that can be awe-inspiringly spectacular or if on autopilot can be as dull as dishwater. Ablaze My Sorrow seem to be erring on the dull side of things with this album. Whilst it is not a bad album it is far from the greats that this genre has to offer.