In times like these it’s easy for our individual voices to get lost in the noise. If there is a central theme on Panic, the
third album from the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based act From Ashes To New, it’s that the only way to rise above obstacles is
to trust in yourself. “Even though you feel voiceless, you're not, but we understand if you feel that way because we feel
that way too,” explains frontman Matt Brandyberry. In the 7 years the band has been together, fans have come to expect empowering
messages delivered via the band’s unique blend of metal, hip-hop, rock and electronica. The songs on Panic aren’t just catchy,
they also contain a sense of urgency that is as inspiring as it is innovative and offers a moment of intense clarity in a
world grown cloudy.
Panic features the same lineup as the band’s 2018’s breakthrough release The Future -- vocalists Brandyberry and Danny Case
as well as guitarist Lance Dowdle and drummer Matt Madiro. Brandyberry credits the undeniable musical magnetism of these eleven
songs to the enduring lineup. “The chemistry between us is there and fans who have seen us recently have been very vocal about
the fact that we are firing on all cylinders.” That unified feeling which was solidified on the road performing
songs like the Billboard-charting single “Crazy,” enabling the band to further refine their sound and move creatively to the
next level. “We know what our vision is and we know what we want to do, so we were able to really accomplish that on this
album because the structure is there,” he adds.
In order to reach the potential of these songs, the band reunited with producer Colin Brittain (Papa Roach, All Time Low)
who previously produced the band’s single “Nowhere To Run” and shared their laser-focused musical vision. “On the last record
we got the chance to do one song with Colin and it was kind of on a whim,” Brandbyberry explains. “We really liked his approach
and the creativity Colin brought to that song and thought that if we could do that with the short amount of time we had together,
what could we accomplish making an entire album with him?” The band also teamed up with Erik Ron (Godsmack, Motionless In
White) who brought his dynamic style to the title track “Panic” and “Wait For Me.” The result is an album that showcases how
much From Ashes To New have grown over the past two years, much of which was spent on the road touring with bands like Five
Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Ice Nine Kills and Skillet.
From the arena-worthy hooks of the album opener “Face Myself (Scars)” to the crushing power of the hip-hop/metal hybrid “Panic”
and guitar-driven groove of “Death Of Me,” Panic shows From Ashes To New at their heaviest and most melodic. “We broke down
boundaries we didn’t even know we had on this album,” Brandyberry explains. “I took what I knew and I evolved it and I think
all of us did that,” he adds. “We pushed ourselves really hard as artists to take our sound to the next level.” This renewed
spirit is evident on a track like “Bulletproof,” which starts with a haunting electronic hook evolving into a cathartic creation
that features rapid-fire hip-hop verses and an explosive choruses that stand out in the current music scene.
“From Ashes To New have always felt an underdog mentality but on this record we wanted to explore how you need to know where
you are mentally, before you can even get to the point where you can overcome something,” Brandyberry says of the album’s
lyrical theme. “‘Panic’ exemplifies the whole concept of the album in the sense that on a daily basis we feel this sense of
anxiety. What we wake up to every day in media and social media is a lot of fear-mongering and I think a lot of people are
trying to make each other scared -- and the result is that we start to lose each other as individuals. It feels like
we've got this shadowy figure that's over us all the time; that sense of anxiety and what we call panic.” When Brandyberry
raps on the title track about being “chased by a feeling that’s taking over me,” you can feel the impending sense of dread
trying to rise up and take hold of him. We see this dread in our every waking moments.
According to Brandyberry, things may look bleak but our collective struggles aren’t insurmountable. “Until we can all have
the same vision and until we can all agree to recognize the fear-mongering, the panic, the anxiety, the things that are being
put in front of us every day, I don't think we can fix it,” hes explains, noting the bleak nature of some of the album’s imagery.
At the same time, he knows how awareness and hard work can help overcome obstacles -- and the band’s growing success is proof
of that. If a hip-hop-inspired metal band from southern Pennsylvania can make their mark in the music world, why can’t there
be a collective shift in consciousness that wakes people up from these destructive cycles?
“We get it,” Brandyberry summarizes, taking a moment to reflect on the fact that Panic is finally about to be unleashed on
an unsuspecting world. “We just want everyone to know that we’re all together in this thing. Until we can recognize what is
actually happening, I don't think we can fix it.”