Up-and-coming Salt Lake City heroes Chelsea Grin are back with album number three and it’s a brutal slab of thrashing deathcore. Hailing from a deeply religious region of the United States, Utah, Chelsea Grin belie their geographical roots and revel in rebellion. Ashes To Ashes is an outstanding declaration of love to heavy metal music, featuring typical lyrical themes like alienation, religion, and independence.
Chelsea Grin have expanded their sound on Ashes To Ashes, incorporating new elements like melody, acoustic instrumentation, and yes, even piano. However, these quaint elements are overpowered by the chugging, twisted metal that Chelsea Grin are known for. Look no further than the bloody fun of Clockwork, Nightmares and the pummelling Pledge Allegiance.
Listen: Chelsea Grin – Clockwork
The two back-to-back instrumentals — Ashes… and …To Ashes — wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a prog-metal album, and here they simply add a nice touch, and possibly hint towards the future for Chelsea Grin. Similarly, the symphonic thrash of album-closer Dust To Dust indicates a band looking to evolve, in lieu of sticking to their usual shtick.
Clocking in at almost an hour, Ashes To Ashes may be just a wee bit too long. There are a couple of tracks, such as Sellout, new single Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray, and generic-sounding album opener Playing With Fire, that border on filler, and may have best served as B-sides, which would tighten up the album to a crisp 45 minutes.
Album length aside, Chelsea Grin have cranked it up a notch and expanded their sound to match. Longtime fans will be pleased and those with more than a passing interest in deathcore, or heavy metal for that matter, will find plenty to enjoy on this album. Ashes To Ashes is a fun, albeit slightly routine album that shreds, slays, and will soon have you headbanging with Grandma.
Chelsea Grin’s latest album, ‘Ashes To Ashes’, is available now.