Written by Alex Stojanovic
Consuming The Mana
Let All Despair
In The Darkness
Spirit Of Man
The God Of War
You Know My Name (Bonus track)
Release Date: November 9, 2018
Label: Rock Of Angels Records
Matt Barlow - Vocals / Freddie Vidalez - Guitars & bass / Van Williams - Drums (session)
Jonah Weingarten - Keyboard intro composition (session)
As one would expect, Barlow is absolutely on fire vocally. He brings so much passion and emotion, and it's amazing how he can switch from soulful and soaring to heavy and gritty so seamlessly. It's obviously hard to not think about Iced Earth when you hear Matt's vocals, and there are certainly moments on here that will make you do that. However, I would have to say that the track with the biggest Iced Earth vibe on this album is "Let All Despair". The clean guitar notes in the intro, the layered vocals, and the overall flow, all immediately make me think of "Watching Over Me". The riffing and solos from Vidales are just as much at the forefront of this album as Matt's high class vocals. Heavy riffs and epic harmonies dominate the album, and some of the best heavy riffs can be found on tracks like "Consuming The Mana", "Sun Dragon" and "In The Darkness".
The production also plays a big factor in the overall quality any album, and the production on Well Of Souls is certainly more than satisfactory. None of the instruments drown each other out, which is key for me. Towards the end of the album, a small selection of songs get a little hard to tell apart. I found myself needing to check the title of a couple of songs again while listening, which can be annoying sometimes, I'm not going to lie. Aside from that, Matt and Freddie have delivered a really good, but not exactly spectacular, follow-up to the debut album. If you loved the first album, or just Matt Barlow's vocals in general, there's no doubting that you'll love Well Of Souls. Pick this album up when released and look for any Ashes Of Ares tour dates.
Highs: Two words: "MATT BARLOW!"
Lows: A small handful of songs get a little difficult to tell apart.
Final Rating: 7.5/10
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