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Review: Ares Kingdom - Return to Dust
Ares Kingdom
Return to Dust

Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Year released: 2006
Duration: 42:06
Tracks: 8
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 14, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Return to Dust


Not often that I get to review music from so close to home, and rarer yet that said music is any good, but this time it's all good. Ares Kingdom are a Death Metal band from Kansas City, and they are flat-out killer. This band has been around for over a decade, but all they have managed for years has been EPs and demos, Return To Dust is their debut full-length album, and it kicks relentless ass.

Ares Kingdom are pretty solidly Death Metal, but they are not of the clickety-click school so prevalent in the US these days. These guys mix in plenty of old-fashioned Thrash and even touches of first-wave Black Metal like Venom or Celtic Frost to arrive at a style so old-school it's refreshing. There's not much in the way of double-bass abuse on here, just heavy, megachuggin' Death/Thrash riffs and a snarling, spitting guitar sound. Vocalist/Bassist Alex Blume has a raw-throated scream that still retains intelligibility, reminding me of past greats like Martin Van Drunen. The production is good but still suitably raw, and the whole sounds like a seething cauldron of wrath.

This is an excellent album for deathheads who are not addicted to grind. Ares Kingdom mix modern Death with melody and a riff-based approach to songwriting to get a punchy, hook-laden album you won't be able to stop listening to. A remarkable debut that I certainly hope leads to a long and successful run for this band. Highly Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: By the Light of Their Destruction (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Incendiary (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with guitarist Chuck Keller on September 30, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist Chuck Keller on March 6, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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