Thirteenth Sign – The Ashes Of A Treacherous Silence
Release Date: 02/10/2020
Running Time: 70:54
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
By nature, I am a positive person, full of beans 90% of the time. But lately, I’ve been feeling quite flat in myself, the pressures of modern life can sometimes take us away from the beautiful thing that is life!
I did have a chat with Mr. Editor (she did indeed – Rick), as I didn’t feel as confident in my writing that day, unusual as I normally bring all the bubbles, but the last thing I wanted was for this to reflect in my writing, so I decided to sit on this album for a bit.
Kick-starting my fitness and religiously meditating my brain, I now feel ready to swallow “The Ashes Of Treacherous Silence” the new album by Thirteenth Sign.
The band actually started off under the name ‘Skeletal Embrace’ back in 1998/99 in Norfolk. They managed to record 3 demos, then decided to change their name. After releasing their debut album “Oracles Of Armageddon” in 2008, they went and played Hammerfest, supporting Napalm Death and Anaal Nathrakh. They then released two more albums, “Rise Of The Black Angel” (2012) and “Evolutions End” (2016). Originally Norfolk based, band members left and were replaced with new members from Nottingham, thus they now consider themselves Nottingham based.
Now to the album itself. Go Forth Tammy, I tell myself “I got this”.
Let me start with the meaning behind the lyrics. They are based upon the true story of some of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, but the album does not focus on the actual killings themselves but delivers insight to what made those killers commit such evil crimes. Therefore, we get songs about neglect, domestic violence, depression, suicide, and betrayal and the spoken pieces in between tracks give the album a definite “Operation: Mindcrime” feel, which is to be expected as that concept album was their initial inspiration for this!
I can’t see a happy dance happening any time soon.
‘WN-3617’ opens the album which is just over a minute-long introduction and It’s actually really creepy.
‘The Bond Of Wicked Blood’ opens the album, in suitably gruesome fashion but, personally, I feel the album really kicks off with next track ‘Impulse Control’. We are marched forward into the album, there is a really good repetitive riff and the tempo meets this making it feel completely thrash.
The first thing I noticed was drummer Lloyd. His accelerated beats rip and slay hard. His blazingly fast double kick drums turn me into a trembling mess! They are hard to keep up with but not misplaced at all. Drummers like this are rare gold dust.
Throughout the entire album you also have some befitting vocals. The only slight niggle for me is on final track ‘The Scars Of Betrayal” where they are a no-no from me. They are not terrible, but they are not great either. It’s difficult to understand what is going on and they seem to be out of place in comparison to the rest of the album. The musicianship is still remorseless though, and severely intense.
As a whole, the album is way beyond being quiet. There are so many moments that illustrate this. For example, ‘Electric Hammer’. This is the first video released from the album with their new line-up and was recorded during the lockdown by Loki Films! Thirteenth Sign transport all the chaos in this track. The production is clear, projecting a real clean and relentless sound. I actually resembled a hippo at this point as my jaw hit the ground. You can hear every string and strum on those guitars, and I have to bow my head with respect. They nail it totally.
Recording began in Feb 2020 and Covid-19 could have derailed everything, but the band were able to continue recording the remainder of the album at their home studios during lockdown. Thank goodness for that as this cruel and destroying album can now be heard by everyone!
Ok, so my overall thoughts are:
Thirteenth Sign have undoubtedly proved to themselves and demonstrated that if you want to do it, whatever it may be, then get UP and do it. They have bonded well together and their creativity and talent is completely apparent. There is enough variation in track tempos and there is a crisp production. They have delivered and it certainly stands out from their previous albums. From what I can gather, they bring a bloody good party, and they know EXACTLY what they want. “The Ashes Of A Treacherous Silence” deserves a huge slap on the back.
02. The Bond Of Wicked Blood
03. Impulse Control
04. Electric Hammer
05. Demons Within
06. Locked In A Deadly Embrace
07. The Spider’s Web
08. Walls Of Jericho
09. The Bone Collector
11. The Perpetual Darkness
12. Ashes For Eternity
13. Silent Witness
14. The Scars Of Betrayal
Chris Hubbard – Rhythm Guitar
Reno Ramos – Vocals
Dale Stringer – Lead Guitar
Lloyd Stringer – Drums
Dave Thomas – Bass
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.