Croatian gothic / doom metal band Ashes You Leave are back with the sixth full-length release entitled The Cure For Happiness, and their latest effort is anything but happy. They have taken their dark ways to new levels with one of their strongest efforts ever. With The Cure For Happiness, Ashes You Leave is hell bent on making a career-defining statement. They have sunk to new levels of darkness and beauty all in the same release. Following up their acclaimed 2009 release, Songs of the Lost, was not going to be an easy task for the band, but they seem to have surpassed that effort sonically.
Keep in mind that I am offering praise for a band that I feel is trying to keep alive a very tired and overdone genre of metal. While the influx of female-fronted gothic bands are finally beginning to show signs of slowing down, there are still a ton of these bands out there. While every novice music fan would tell you that they all sound the same, that is simply not the case. Bands like Epica have taken symphonic metal to new height with their musical arrangements while bands like Ashes You Leave are simply treading ground that no one else has really touched upon.
From the outset of the album, opening with Devil in Disguise, you are treated to a wonderfully arranged piece. The track opens with a simple piano piece, but quickly shows the care that the band takes with their arrangements with the wondrous string accompaniment once the song kicks into gear. The song itself is rather pedestrian for the most part, but the opening and the solo break make up for the song by themselves.
Overall, while not for me, I can see past my narrow-sightedness for this genre of metal these days and can justifiably say that Ashes You Leave have made an album that I can enjoy in this genre. While I still feel like you have to be in the mood for this type of depressive gothic / doom metal, they have done something special with The Cure For Happiness.
The Cure For Happiness Track Listing:
1. Devil in Disguise
2. Only Ashes You Leave
3. For the Heart, Soul and Mind
4. The Ever-changing
5. Meant to Stray
6. Summer’s End
7. Reality Sad
8. The Cure
9. …for Happiness
Ashes You Leave Line-up:
Giada “Jade” Etro – vocals
Berislav Poje – guitars, vocals
Marta Batinic – violin
Matija Rempesic – guitars
Luka Petrovic – bass
Armando Floricic – drums