My favorite album reviewed last month for Blabbermouth was, hands-down the debut album by Ashes of Ares, featuring former Iced Earth vocalist Matt Barlow, ex-Iced Earth bassist Freddie Vidales and one-time Nevermore drummer, Van Williams.
I was honored to be invited down to the Rock Harvest II festival by Matt Barlow at The House of Rock in the Baltimore suburb of White Marsh. The festival was a three-day benefit show for Fallen Blue, a charity organization for the families of police officers lost in the line of duty. As an active duty officer himself, Matt Barlow and Ashes of Ares put on a monster set as headliners of the opening night of Rock Harvest II, playing the self-titled Ashes of Ares album in its entirety.
For me, it was a terrific night getting to meet Matt, his wife and the Ashes of Ares crew, including touring bassist Dean Sternberg (also of Into Eternity fame) who was kind enough to buy me a beer at the venue. Cheers, brother!
The entire night was spent meeting musicians, publicists and making new friends plus scoring a copy of the expanded 18-song Japanese version of Iron Maiden's Maiden Japan. I was flattered to meet numerous readers of Blabbermouth who came up to me and struck conversation. A damned good first night of the festival and I want to thank Matt Barlow personally for having me down.
Stay tuned for photos of the second night of Rock Harvest II featuring Metal Church vocalist Ronny Munroe.
Ashes of Ares is available through Nuclear Blast Records. Get on it, already! Also, please visit www.fallenblue.org to learn more about Fallen Blue and to donate to the cause.