Album Reviews

Ashen Reign – An Angels Burden Review

Released By : Self-Released

Genre : Melodic Metal, Progressive Rock

Links :



Brent McDaniel – All Vocals, All Instruments



01. The Feast

02. An Angels Burden

03. Hope

04. Broken Heart

05. Simple Things

06. A Prayer For The Dying

07. Fear OF The Snake

08. The Sparrow


There’s an old saying that goes something like “If you want something done properly, you should do it yourself”.  Metal lover and multi-instrumentalist Brent McDaniel must have taken this as sound advice as this new project AHSEN REIGN is a pure one-man show. Yes, Brent plays every instrument on the entire album including all vocals too. One advantage of doing things this way for the rare few that are skilled enough is that there’s nobody to get in the way of your vision of the sound you want to create, which gave Brent a blank canvas to shape in any way he saw fit.

Stylistically speaking AN ANGEL’S BURDEN is an interesting album that manages to combine melodic metal with some gothic rock and even a touch of progressive rock too. The gothic elements are achieved through a combination of a generally slow, brooding feel across the album and the fact that the vocals have a very goth feel to them too. Being a one-man show it’s common to expect certain elements to be stronger than others and that certainly is the case here too… Take for example the drumming, which is totally serviceable for sure, but it does lack that certain interesting spark that you would find in somebody that takes drumming as their main priority, much the same could be said for the bass guitar here too which works just fine, there’s just nothing great about it. Make no mistake though, this is clearly a project headed by a guitar man, and the fret work on the album is the clear highlight. Whether it’s chunky, almost Doom-Metal feeling riffs, quick fills or epic sweeping Melodic Metal lead breaks, the guitars are what make the album work.

With AN ANGEL’S BURDEN, Brent McDaniel certainly gets to show how talented he is, and even manages to offer up something that has a unique and interesting overall feel to it. But, my suggestion would be acquire the services of a dedicated bass guitarist and drummer next time around just to give the music a more organic and less “project-ish” sound.


Written by ZeeZee

Rating : 7/10

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