Welcome to the Light
Hard to Fly
Watch You Fall
Walk Through Fire
Nothing Left to Fear
I’m slowly learning just how much talent that the Kansas City music scene possesses and, being that I want to get more involved with it, it warms my heart to know I don’t have to look hard. Reminiscent of early Howard Jones-era Killswitch Engage, Heir to Ashes has begun their climb into the spotlight, which originally began back in 2015. When I heard the lead single from their forthcoming, debut, full-length album, Welcome to the Light, I just knew that I had to get my hands on it and help get their name out there, however I could. With a sound that is both heavy in nature, while incredibly emotional and melodic, they can fit the bill just about anywhere on the metal spectrum. I’d even go so far as to say that they have some radio potential with a couple of these tracks, especially the title track, “Welcome to the Light.” Here, vocalist David Merschbrock taps into the full potential of the melodic side of his voice… not quite a ballad but nowhere near a bore, either. Throughout the album, you will hear clear influence from bands like the aforementioned Killswitch Engage but not in an effort to copy their popular sound but to show just how much impact these bands have had on them, as musicians and individuals.
The guitar parts, put forth by Spankie Chapel and Joe Chadwick, show equal parts ferocity, technicality and flash. For instance, a track with a heavier nature like the opener, “Save Me” can easily find itself weaved into the more subtle tracks like “Hard to Fly,” which is an emotional track that seems to touch on the subject of losing oneself, through the loss of a loved one. Additionally, you will hear some impressive guitar solos thrown in occasionally, that really spice up the tracks that they’re on. Tracks like “Watch You Fall” showcase just what force that drummer, Blake Knotts, can bring to the table. Charging in, rolling through and really commanding the listener’s attention. This track reminds me of early EkoTren, who had a knack for writing music with a strong presence from the drums. The most important thing is that each beat is perfectly blended into the mix of these songs, not muddy or “faded” like you may hear in some of today’s music. I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t find myself air drumming, multiple times, throughout each listen of this album.
It’s clear that Heir to Ashes means business with Welcome to the Light and they’ve only just begun. Of course, if you want to take a look at the progress they’ve made, you can turn to their debut EP, Sinner’s Eyes, which saw a much more raw (but still impressive) sound… clearly being molded but far from amateur. If you want to pick up a physical copy of the album, be sure to hit up the band’s Facebook page, at the link below, and let them know! If you’re in the Kansas City area, they’re celebrating the release of Welcome to the Light at Aftershock on Saturday (June 9th) and will have plenty of copies available to attendees. You can find all of the details in the flyer below, and can pick up tickets directly from the band. Regardless of how you drink in this album, I urge you to give it a chance. You might find a new favorite band! I know I have!
“Portrait” (Official Lyric Video)
“Walk Through Fire” (Official Audio)
Pre-Order Welcome to the Light (iTunes link coming soon)