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Album Review: Survive Sunrise by ASG

North Carolina hard rock act ASG release their sixth album (and first in five years), Survive Sunrise, on 15th June via Relapse.

Initially forming as a three-piece instrumental project, due to the lack of a dedicated vocalist, ASG were intensely focusing on devising tight, driving guitar riffs, locking guitarist Jason Shi in with the rhythm section of bassist Andy Ellis and drummer Scott Key.

But as time passed and no vocalist was found, Shi was eventually forced to step up to the mic. Shortly after completing their second album Feeling Good Is Good Enough in 2005, second guitarist, Jonah Citty, was added to help recreate the album’s sounds live, which was none too soon as the band quickly found themselves on the road with the likes of Motorhead, The Sword, Torche, Dwarves, and CKY. It was with their fifth album Blood Drive in 2012 that pushed the band onto the next level and they finally received the recognition they deserved.

This album cements ASG’s place in hard rock. The blend of heavy, southern-fried alt rock fury with infectious hooks makes them an enthralling listen that somehow almost sounds like a mix of Baroness and Alice In Chains but more accessible. Recorded, mixed and mastered with long-time producer Matt Hyde, it’s an album that you can through yourself into and forget the world. Let the crunching riffs wash over you and let the vocal hooks sucker you in. Stick it on and enjoy the sun.

Listen to this as album. Rather than there being standout songs it works best as one heaving mass of guitars. As a reference point look at how the churning ‘The Heaven Moon’ segues into the laidback and progressive tones of ‘Kubrick Colors’ through to the stoner expansive rock of ‘God Knows We’. Three distinctly different songs that work perfectly alongside each other and showcases the strength of Survive Sunrise.

AD Rating 7/10

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