Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Gathering After Ashes

My friends, it’s about that time where we meet once a week to talk local music. We are somewhat well into 2014, time is flying, and bands are gearing up to play some shows! I love the time of year where you can almost smell spring in the air; it stays light out longer, people are happier, and life in general is just better as we know it.

This week, I am going to write about a band that someone recommended to me that I hadn’t discovered for myself. In fact, every time I make a post on Facebook or any social media outlet, so many of you send me suggestions of amazing acts that I should be following. Hey, as you know, I am a working girl on the go, so sometimes I have to trust you all to provide me with what is going on in the scene. I must say, you all do a great job, and are on the radar (see what I did there?).

The group that I am referring to goes by the name of Gathering After Ashes. Okay, when you first hear the band name, you are immediately brought to a dark place. However, as our parents always told us, don’t judge a book by its cover. They have a distinct sound that may be dark at times, but that adjective cannot completely describe this band and their image. Their music flows nicely and their production is great, and their sound could be placed in various genres for fans of all styles to enjoy.

Gathering After Ashes were just featured on my show, Jersey Rock, during my monthly metal showcase. In typical local music fashion, I spotlight the scene’s hottest metal acts for a whole week, once a month. I am always trying to explore new options and outlets for bands to be heard, and as we all know, there aren’t many opportunities on radio for metal groups. I always have so much fun during this week because believe it or not, there are so many metal bands out there that just fly under the radar (no pun intended) and need our support to get into the spotlight!

This group was highly recommended to me from a friend of mine, Jeff Crespi. Plus, I had multiple people email me asking who the band was that I had just featured, so that’s always a good sign as well. I checked them out, listened to a few songs, and immediately began head banging. They categorize themselves as a hard rock act from Northern New Jersey with members Brian Wright, Joe Silva, Bobby Pergola and Jorge Nobre. They’ve been around since about 2010, and I don’t know where I have been that I am just finding out about them, but better late than never! They have cited some of their influences as Godsmack, Alice In Chains and Tool, which are all heavy rock appropriate, and you can hear a little of each band within.

The song that I first indulged in is called “Down,” which is definitely hit-worthy. I am not positive if they chose this as their single, but if they didn’t, they should. This track packs an aggressive set of dark lyrics, which are belted out powerfully. As stated before, you can tell that the band has combined several types of music within their influences, while still being able to produce a unique sound of their own. I am not sitting here saying they are the most original band on the planet, but their sound is really cool. Yes, all of their tracks are good and heavy, but I really feel that the lyrics could be more far-reaching. If you gave one of their songs to a ballad singer, it would also become a beautiful song, which is rare to find.

I also enjoy “The Pain The Pleasure,” which I highly recommend blasting at high volumes. I also really like “Temple,” for that may be my personal favorite. I don’t have a specific reason why, but I just really dig it. Check it out for yourself and maybe you’ll understand. This music is heart-pumping hard rock, fully loaded with anger, energy, and any kind of emotion you can stir up.

If you are in the market for some great hard rock/metal, with catchy and proper heavy riffs, great lead vocals and pissed off yet pleasant lyrics, Gathering After Ashes are the band for you. While they aren’t super technical or complicated, their act is really quite simple. But don’t get it twisted: They definitely work their butts off, and I am always seeing them interact with their fans on social media and the internet. I also dig the sound of their drums, for there is something about the tone that is just done right. Combine that with those catchy riffs and you’ve got a success story.

While I have yet to see their live performance, I have heard many positive things. I have checked them out on YouTube—not that that is as good as the real thing—but I can tell I will be in attendance in the near future. Here’s to hoping they announce a solid spring lineup with various locations across the state for all of us Local Radar readers to get our hands on! Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I will be back next week—same time, place, and column—to talk about all that is hot in the local music scene. As always, please keep the momentum going by sending your band and talent suggestions, for it just so happens that many of my articles these days (like this one) are based off of your opinions as well! I promise I read everything I receive; I may not get back to you right away, but your voices are being heard loud and clear! We are a community and have to support one another in order to keep the scene alive, so don’t you want to be a part of the fun? I knew you did! See you next week, friends.