ARES KINGDOM
Return To Dust
(self-financed)
13:57min

Ever since the split-up of ORDER FROM CHAOS, guitarist Chuck Keller was keeping himself quite busy. Apart from writing music and / or lyrics for other bands (PENTACLE, BARBATOS etc.), contributing reviews to our zine and working on his own project VULPECULA, him and ORDER FROM CHAOS drummer Mike Miller also got ARES KINGDOM off the ground. For some strange reason he nevertheless had to struggle a lot more than his former bandmate Pete Helmkamp, who gained himself a quite massive international following while he was involved in ANGEL CORPSE. Anyway, ANGEL CORPSE is history by now while ARES KINGDOM got signed for a full length album by Nuclear War Now! Productions, so things might be ready for a change pretty soon. This two-track promo CD-R is already a taste of things to come, as it features two rough mix versions of songs that’ll appear on the album "A Dream of Armageddon", due out in early 2006. ‘Failsafe’ is a straight ahead fast thrashing old school Metal tune with an extremely hateful blackend Death / Thrashin’ vocal delivery and a rough, razorsharp guitarsound, somehow a little similar to the classic ORDER FROM CHAOS recordings (yet musically a lot more on the aggressive Thrash side of things). The second tune on here is the title track of the album, an 8:28min long midpaced crusher with a cool groovy riffing, maybe a little too long, but definitely destined to bang your heads to in the frontrow. If the entire album will live up to these two songs (which already sound really promising to me and are without a doubt the best they’ve written thus far), ARES KINGDOM will easily be able to establish themselves as soon as the album gets released. We’ll keep you posted! For more info check out www.ares-kingdom.com or http://nwnprod.fateback.com/

Frank Stöver

Frank Stöver

ARES KINGDOM
Return To Dust
(NWN! Productions)
42:28min

When you read my review on the ARES KINGDOM 2 track promo CD-R, you might be confused a little, as I had announced back then that the band’s debut full length would be entitled “A Dream Of Armageddon”… Well, in the end the ARES KINGDOM guys obviously decided to go for something else as “Return To Dust” is exactly the album in question, just entitled a little differently… So, don’t worry – you haven’t missed out on anything yet and as planned both tracks off that promo (‘Failsafe’ and ‘Return To Dust’) are also still on here. So, does the full length live up to its expectations then? Yes, it certainly does! Even though it’s a different band, you easily notice Chuck Keller’s rather typical way of writing and (intentional or not) the old ORDER FROM CHAOS vibe is still very much present throughout the whole disc. The overall ARES KINGDOM style is also very rough and the vocals (courtesy of Alex Blume) always harsh and full of anger. But what I probably appreciated the most is the fact that the band luckily avoided many of today’s most common “mistakes”… Instead of playing full speed ahead the whole time or focus on their technical abilities, they instead base each song on crushing and very effective riffs, no matter if it’s slow, groovy or fast and the songs benfit from that a lot! “Return To Dust” is by no means a monotonous record which is brutal just for the sake of it! There’s a lot of variety to be found in the writing which results in a very honest and 100% pure deathrashin’ old school Metal offering! The whole production doesn’t have this annoying digital / perfect feel to it, but instead comes across very natural and live sounding, while the layout of the CD’s booklet is also based on 80s classics (with a cool picture collage in the middle). My only little complaining is addressed to the fact that among the album’s tracks there’s two instrumentals (‘None Escape’ and ‘Sins Of The Father’, both in a row), so that in total only six “real” songs are to be found on here. Don’t get me wrong – those instrumentals aren’t bad or anything, but could at least have been given a different running order on the album… But anyway, all in all “Return To Dust” should manage to establish ARES KINGDOM within the worldwide underground pretty easily and give Chuck’s former bandmate Pete Helmkamp a hard time to come up with something of a similar (or even superior) quality. For more info head to www.ares-kingdom.com. The label can be contacted here: www.nwnprod.com

Frank Stöver

Frank Stöver

Related reviews / interviews:
ARES KINGDOM - Incendiary (Lem Lycurgus)
ARES KINGDOM - interview (Luxi Lahtinen)

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