August 26, 2020 From Ashes to New – Panic (Album Review)
Emerging back in 2013, Lancaster, PA’s From Ashes to New has steadily become a fan favorite on the Alternative Metal scene. Founded and fronted by Matt Brandyberry, they have put out two successful full-length albums in 2016 and 2018, found mainstream success with the singles “Through It All” and “Crazy,” which reached numbers 6 and 3, and earned even more attention when their Co-Vocalist Danny Case was featured on The Hu’s “Yuve Yuve Yu.”
Now ready to take the next step, on Friday, August 28, 2020, From Ashes to New unleash Panic via Better Noise Music. Their third overall studio album, it it is the second to feature the stable lineup of Brandyberry, Case, Guitarist Lance Dowdle, and Drummer Matt Madiro. Additionally, the band reconnected with Producer Colin Brittain (Papa Roach and All Time Low) and team with Erik Ron (Godsmack and Motionless in White) tracks such as title-track/ lead single “Panic” and “Wait For Me.” So is the stability of a well-established production team and the approach of From Ashes to New a formula for connected success?
Before answering that question you need to first look at what has made the band a hit to this point. First and foremost, Brandyberry has always used his past memories and hurt as inspiration for the songs’ lyrics, and this proves true with Panic. You can feel this right out of the gate with the Case-led “Scars That I’m Hiding” hitting on the more emotional side of the past and how we tend to keep things in, let them break us down, and eventually leave scars behind that no one but ourselves can see. This anxiety we can all relate to in one way or another is a theme throughout the album, and, in truth, it is fitting for the current societal climate with unrest, division, and uncertainty due to the pandemic.
Speaking of which, later on, “SideFX” leans more toward the mass hysteria of today’s society. Pointing out that much of America is built on lies and drugs in order keep the people at bay, it is a telling cut that reminds you how sick you should be of it all. In fact, Brandyberry’s words, “I’m getting high off the damage I did to myself, cause the system sells me a vision of hell,” brings the message home in a striking manner. Then offering more inspiration to emerge from the darkness, “Death of Me” is about letting our past and insecurities tear us down, only to destroy who we are. Perhaps the most relatable track of the album, while the guitars lead it musically, again, it is the lyrics that bring the song to life. This is the case throughout the record, whether it be the Hip Hop groove of “Bulletproof,” catchy single “What I Get,” Linkin Park-vibed “Nothing,” or final battle cry for renewal heard on “Change My Past.”
Overall, From Ashes to New’s effectiveness continues to live and die with the message in the music. They have certainly grown since 2016’s Day One, but remained true to who they are. Stability and band chemistry have only made them stronger, and three albums in they have not lost any appeal. Deeply emotional and a throwback to the Nu Metal of yesteryear, From Ashes to New are still highly recommended and Panic is a perfect next step in their evolution. That is why Cryptic Rock give it 5 out of 5 stars.