"Ailanthus" (Self-produced; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Ailanthus's three track demo is an interesting and unique blend of 80s-style melody with a modern industrial tinge. Each track features a steady, crisp guitar with a sometimes robotic backbeat and the haunting vocals of the band's lead singer.

Track one sets the stage with its driving guitars and the haunting voice of Maria Votlucka. Like *** of Evanescence, Votlucka gives Ailanthus an ethereal sound that works as the perfect balance between heavy guitars and her delicate but powerful voice. 

The highlight in "Sirens Cry," track two, is its guitar solo, which rips through the middle of the track. Unfortunately, this song is a little blindsided by a production choice to filter the vocalist's voice through an effect of some type. Maria Votlucka is an awesome singer ... don't bury her voice!

Track three, "Malum," is a heavy rocker that closes the album powerfully and leaves you wanting more.

I'm only rating this with two-and-a-half guitarsaws because it's a three track EP and I really need to hear more to give the band a full review. However, I like what I hear on this self-titled EP and I'm looking forward to more from the band in the future.

Ailanthus: Maria Votlucka - Vocals; Rene Rosa - Rhythm Guitar; John Digrazia - Bass; Matt Slagle - Drums, programming; Chris Slagle - Lead Guitar.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Aug 2023 21:18:43 -0400.