Ashes You Leave - The Cure For Happiness

Ashes You Leave - The Cure For Happiness

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(CD, Rock N Growl Records, 2012)

There are times when the right album falls in one’s hands on the right time and this rare occasion happened with the new ASHES YOU LEAVE. The prime audition of “The Cure For Happiness” commenced as the first heavy snow of the winter placed the word white beside the Xmas holidays. Ok, these holidays are about happiness and ASHES YOU LEAVE come from the Gothic scene with Doom Metal finishing touches but still you get my drift, right?

If you (like myself) have no clue about ASHES YOU LEAVE let me enlighten you by saying it’s a Croatian band (formed in 1995) and this album is the sixth LP release. Going through the band’s bio I also learned that there is a new singer in the lineup being the third voice behind the mic.

The album is listed as Gothic/Doom Metal and I think this immediately points to bands like MY DYING BRIDE or/and KATATONIA. Indeed, the music is atmospheric with slow tempos and wonderful violin melodies that often take the leading role from the guitars without losing an inch from the overall heaviness. This is showcased in the album opener “Devil In Disguise” where the main melody is first served by the violin and then, the distorted guitars follow setting up the perfect scenery using all the shades of grey. Giada’s vocals have a higher pitch and sound more powerful than her predecessor (Tamara Mulaosmanovic) stepping closer to the nowadays Gothic aesthetics by adding more melody also with some operatic lines (like in “The Even-Changing). What I really like in ASHES YOU LEAVE is the way they build their music upon a certain melody and then keep adding layers enriching the sound without overloading it. “Summers End” is a wonderful music trip starting off with some THE GATHERING references as the clean guitars work their way up until the vocals, the violin and the down-tuned distortion enter. The bass driven and heavy break along with the growling vocals dismiss the Gothic layers changing the scenery once more. No, the album doesn’t belong to the progressive scene and this is because the music is not over-worked or too dense (at least for my music IQ) so the listener remains focused and hence interested. The riff driven “Reality Sad” may be hiding some DEATH influences under the slow tempo and the female vocals and that’s a huge plus for my taste.

ASHES YOU LEAVE convinced me to go beyond my taste boundaries and place a high rating on “The Cure For Happiness”. This album is a perfect listening during the winter time nurturing those dark feelings we all like having from time to time. So, fill your glass with brandy, dim the lights, crank up the volume and let yourself become one with the coldness of the winter outside. After all the lyrics from “…For Hapinness” state it perfectly: “I am addicted to sadness”...





01. Devil In Disguise
02. Only Ashes You Leave
03. For The Heart, Soul And Mind
04. The Ever-Changing
05. Meant To Stray
06. Summer’s End
07. Reality Sad
08. The Cure
09. ...For Happiness


Giada “Jada” Etro - Vocals
Berislav “Bero” Poje - Guitar
Matija Rempesic - Guitar
Marta Batinic - Violin
Luka Petrovic - Bass
Sasa Vukosav - Drums

Guest musicians:
Ana Toric - Flute
Darko Terlevic - Keys