City of Ashes
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City of Ashes


Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"City of Ashes"

Garry from SAN PR is usually pretty spot on with the bands he sends through to us, so when we get an email from him saying we need to check out a band, I tend to sit up and take note of what he’s said. This happened when he dropped us a line about City Of Ashes and their debut EP, Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness, due out on Monday the 21st of January 2013. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Lostprophets, these guys are about ready to head onto the scene with their stonking EP to hook people in, show what they can do, and leave a mark to keep us thinking about them. Seeing as they’ve already managed to share stages with the likes of Exit Ten, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Yashin and Skindred, I figured it was about time we see what was going on!

Falling Star gets the EP in motion for us, opening with a steady guitar line to set things off and gradually building the track up. As the vocals come in and the track grows in strength there’s an overwhelming sense of calm and melody, the mix forming a reflective tone which pulls you in and then lets loose, suddenly propelling you into an emotional sounding guitar based melee of soaring vocals, pounding drums and roving bass. The track here is all about melody, all about creating a track which people are going to connect with, sing along to and want to hear more of – it’s a solid start to the EP for sure. Beggars & Thieves continues the progression of the EP, this time launching us into a far heavier hitting track than the first one, combining a raw vocal line with fast paced guitars and drums. Despite the heavy approach there’s still a real sense of melody running through things, allowing you to hear everything that’s going on without it becoming overbearing or over the top. Once again the chorus is the main hook of the track, hammering out another moment designed to show off the dramatic tendencies of the band at their finest.

The Highest Point Of Living comes around next and changes the whole feeling of things, this time opening with a soft guitar line which suddenly envelops you in a sense of calm. Reflective vocals combine with the soft guitar work to create a soft and emotional introduction to the track, almost allowing you a moment to reflect on what you’ve heard so far and showing that there’s a calm moment within this powerful album. Soaring vocals akin to 30 Seconds To Mars echo out over the mix, hooking you in and presenting us with images of dark venues and lighters held aloft, it’s a moment on the EP which stands out as a serious high point for sure, and the track which stands out as my personal favourite. As the track reaches its crescendo and leaves us, Hourglass comes into take the lead and once again, shows us the harder side of the band. Building from the calm opening moments into a more upbeat and hard hitting track, this one doesn’t reach the full heaviness of earlier in the EP, but still manages to combine the bands sense of melody with a hard hitting, roving guitar line accompanied by a dark and rumbling bass rhythm – it’s a mix which you know is going to work well on the live scene and the sort of thing that fans are going to beg for more of.

Closing with A Calm Like Lethargy we’re once again shown off the heavy side of things, finishing the EP with a hammering track designed to leave you wanting more and make you want to get down to a show. Personally, I love the way the band can move from heavy to soft and back again without missing a beat, it’s testament to their ability and shows that they’ve got a style for every occasion. The closing moments of the EP do what they should, summing up the EP as a whole and leaving the door open for what is going to follow – just make sure you get me a copy of the next record!

City Of Ashes may only just be releasing their debut EP but my word, it’s quite an EP to behold. This is a band that are able to do heavy, able to do soft, and are able to hook the listener in and keep them listening for the duration of the EP. As an EP this is damned good, but as a debut EP this shows we’re in for one hell of a ride with these guys, and a ride I can’t wait to stay on board with to see what comes next.
- Loud Stuff

"City of Ashes - Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness EP review"

Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness.

The EP kicks off slow and soulful with Fallen Star, a more pop feel with its chorus that screams to be sung along to but thankfully descends into a deeper more aggressive tone. It’s hard to pinpoint the bands style as each track takes you in a different direction but it feels honest.

The Highest Point Of Living breaks down the EP into a delicate affection before Hourglass uses the hypnotic vocals of singer Orion to drag you in for the rugged ride. Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness has a respectable start but ends triumphantly with A Calm Like Lethargy.

Favourite Track: Hourglass

7/10 - Soundscape Magazine

"City of Ashes - Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness"

Eastbourne kings City Of Ashes have emerged from harsh times with new beginnings and a changed line-up. Known throughout the UK for their energetic and exciting style, the band recently scored a set at Guilfest, and seem to be going from strength to strength. Influenced by the likes of Thursday, Rise Against and Funeral For A Friend City Of Ashes have always seemed set to make the big time since their formation in 2009 and their new EP Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness cements that theory.

The first single released by the band since new guitarist James MacDonald joined the line-up, Falling Star kicks things off on a personal note. With lines like “If love can grow so cold, then what was all this for? Bitterness took these hearts”, the track sees Orion Powell’s distinct vocals shine, with soaring guitars and powerful drumming igniting the fuse of what was always expected to be a cataclysmic record.

With screams and drive matched by soul and melody Beggars & Thieves is the catchiest track on Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness, with a hook and main riff that are sure to become fan favourites.

As dark as it is poetic The Highest Point Of Living sees the record mellow out a little, opting for a delicate mix of light guitar and quiet passion that reminds us a little of On My Own by The Used. The Highest point Of Living sees Orion really push his voice to the furthest limits of his ability- something we’d really love to hear more of.

Normally this would be the moment when the band picks up a bit and starts getting louder again, but Hourglass is different. Apart from a particularly violent ending it stays in more or less the same vein as The Highest Point Of Living, demonstrating the sharp blend of styles that City Of Ashes are known for.

A Calm Like Lethargy goes off like an A-bomb as the band’s love of Thursday really comes out. Moving between the calm and the chaotic with style the song screams out “This is war”. It certainly is, and it’s their finest track to date.

There Was A Hand In The Darkness was a long time coming, but the wait was worth it. This EP shows just how much the band have grown since they released their first EP When Black Fuels Blood and, while it might not be quite so flashy and could never be called revolutionary, it’s definitely something they should be proud of.


Standout track: A Calm Like Lethargy.

For fans of: Thursday, The Used, Funeral For A Friend.

Written by: Andrew J C Nicholls -


Then There Was a Hand in The Darkness EP - released 21st January 2013

First single - Falling Star. Music video released 28th January 2013



This current press release detailing our new EP describes as well as we can all about us:

South East new guns, City Of Ashes are poised to etch their own imprint on the currently buoyant Brit-rock scene with their passionate brand of Alternative Rock.

Casting reflections from Thursday and Lostprophets, the rising UK four-piece have created an absorbing sound that will warrant your attention.

Formed in 2009 from Eastbourne, Sussex and comprised of front-man Orion Powell, guitarist James Macdonald, Dan Frederick on bass, and Dan Russell handling the drums, ‘City Of Ashes’ spent much of the past three years honing their craft on the stages of various flea pits up and down the country.

The youthful foursome have already cultivated a solid underground following and have managed to share stages with a cluster of rising UK stars on their travels, from ‘Exit Ten’, ‘Polar’, ‘Shadows Chasing Ghosts’, ‘Fei Comodo’, ‘Hildamay’ and Young Guns, to ‘Yashin’, ‘Skindred’, ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’, ‘Attica Rage’ and ‘The Dead Lay Waiting’.

After devoting such dedication to touring, the band decided to concentrate their efforts on recording.

By drafting in much-admired and esteemed producer Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six, Deaf Havana, Don Broco, Your Demise) to the fold, the Sussex rocksters were primed to pull their energetic sound down to tape for the release of their debut EP ‘Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness’.

O’Grady suitably obliged and the end result is mighty impressive. Instantly, the quartet lay down a true marker with their opener ‘Falling Star’, as vocalist Orion Powell hammers home a delectable hook that is duly supported by weaving riffs.

‘Beggars & Thieves’ continues in this hearty vein, surfing over you with stomping blasts and layered dynamics.

Next, the slow burning ‘The Highest Point Of Living’ displays the band’s earnest emotion and diversity, while the closing track ‘A Calm Like Lethargy’ leaves a mark on your eardrums, courtesy of Dan Russell’s ferocious beats. These alt-rockers wield a sharp knack for killer melody and have unveiled a powerhouse debut offering that is sure to propel the band to giddy heights in 2013!