Not unlike their overseas Doom counterparts, "Ashes To Embers" sees EYES OF FIRE relying on more than a few of the genre’s now expected cliches. Right from the start, "The End Result Of Falling..." paints a bleak portrait of longing through an emphasis on minimalism, allowing dreary chord progressions to form an appropriate backdrop for the equally dreary vocal work. No new ground covered but a solid opener nonetheless. With the following track "Empty", the band succeed in catching the listener off guard by delivery one of the album's heavier tracks. Though the use of contrast in terms of heavy and soft passages is a technique frequently practiced, EYES OF FIRE manage to set themselves somewhat apart from other Doom bands, namely of the European nature.
Employing a less polished sounding heaviness, the band also wears their North American influences on their sleeve in terms of vocal delivery by utilizing a rough shout in place of the expected growls. While these nuances do set EYES OF FIRE apart from others, these aren't necessarily better than the typical traits of the genre, just different. Either way, the album does manage to succeed in flowing smoothly from weighty depression to unabashed anger. Shaped mostly around the albums three lengthier tracks ("The End Result Of Falling...", "Breath", "Last Goodbye"), interspersed can be found short spurts of rage ("One More"), heady odes to the dark ("Hopeless") or an (un)healthy merging of the two. Simply put, allow the song titles to aptly inform you of which polar opposite of the human condition will be embellished.
An emotionally introspective collection from start to finish, I'll admit that the American Doom of "Ashes To Embers" often comes across as slightly disjointed (to these ears)when compared to the seamless Euro-Doom of bands like ANATHEMA. Then again it's all a matter of preference, which is why I would recommend this album to any Doom Metal fan seeking a different, not necessarily worse take on a somewhat limited style. (Online July 12, 2004)