` Jesusfreakhideout.com: Asher Ang, "Throne" Review
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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Asher Ang, 'Throne'
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Asher Ang
Throne

Street Date: March 20, 2023
Style: Rock
Official Site: Instagram
Buy It: iTunes



If you know that newcomer Asher Ang is a classically trained musician drawing from a plethora of sources, you might not be surprised at the wide range of variety found on his debut album, Throne. While rock is the foundation for this 10-track record, that classical influence is felt along with pop, worship, orchestral, and electronic. Joined by a host of friends who help fill out the project on vocals, Ang has crafted a unique and thoughtful album that, in spite of the varying genre mashes, feels like an epic journey of faith.

The first half of the album is more personal in nature. While "Repent" uses guttural screams to convey the urgent message of the gospel for the audience, "In Your Presence" shifts to a closer perspective. You could view that track as the personal turn of the "protagonist" with "Obey" and "Promise" being the outpouring of devotion. The back half of Throne, however, gains a more cosmic perspective with "Make Ready the Way" leading into a more eschatological landscape. From there, the album looks forward to the ultimate triumph and reign of Christ ("Burn the Harlot," the title track) and being joined by His bride ("Wedding Feast").

At a glance, Throne may seem disjointed in music and theme between these two sides, but it actually works to show the progression of faith in a person's life while ultimately pointing to the great victory at the end. While that may feel like a stretch, the record manages to pull it all together. One aspect that helps with that is how grounded in Scripture the lyrics are. While you may not be able to cite chapter and verse from song to song, if you've spent any time reading or listening to the Bible, you will recognize the words. Using those various passages as the spiritual glue to hold this album together works greatly in its favor. The epic feel of the music complements the Scripture, too. This is best seen on "Burn the Harlot," which features a strong reading from Revelation and a loud choir to emphasize certain parts. It feels like a track stolen from a lost Cecille B. DeMille film. "Wedding Feast" also features a powerful build up that I won't spoil, but it's worth listening just for the final minute of the song. It's not often that an independent album from a mostly unknown artist comes out of nowhere like this and impresses the way it does. But Asher Ang and friends have crafted a unique sonic experience that is part ear candy, part worshipful, and in some small ways liturgical. If you don't mind an album that has a quirky turn or two, Throne will surprise and delight you. It is well done, carefully crafted art that draws the believer's eyes to the highest throne and to Him who sits there.

- Review date: 3/20/23, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

    Asher Ang's debut album, Throne, is one of the more unique albums I've heard in recent memory. It takes the listener on quite a journey through a small variety of genres, opening with the blistering metalcore of "Repent" and mellowing out along with the way into alternative rock, contemporary, and eventually opera and classical. "Throne" even sounds heavily inspired by the Tommee Profitt x Fleurie album, Gloria Regali, with its epic, operatic style and Destiny Runner's confident vocals. I have to admit, it was a little disappointing to hear the heaviness of "Repent" and "In Your Presence" only to be quickly thrust into lighter material; in that sense, the album does feel like it's lacking in its cohesion overall. It also suffers from some seriously repetitive lyricism. Most of the songs repeat the same four or five stanzas multiple times, sometimes consecutively. Thankfully, though, most of the time the album sounds good enough to ignore the repetition, and all the lyrics point toward Jesus and His saving grace. Again, Throne is a unique album, and listeners with a broader taste in music may be interested to hear what it has to offer. - Review date: 3/27/23, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 


 

JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 10 tracks
. Street Date: March 20, 2023
. Buy It: iTunes

  1. Prelude (1:39)
  2. Repent (feat. Destiny Runner) (4:38)
  3. In Your Presence (feat. Destiny Runner) (3:53)
  4. Obey (feat. Ralyn Gayle) (3:11)
  5. Promise (feat. Ralyn Gayle) (3:25)
  6. Make Ready the Way (feat. Destiny Runner) (4:54)
  7. Burn the Harlot (feat. Anna Leicht & James Frazee) (5:34)
  8. Throne (feat. Jesse Archer) (5:44)
  9. Wedding Feast (feat. Jesse Archer & Destiny Runner) (5:21)
  10. Coda (0:54)
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  • Jesus Freak Hideout (John Underdown): What's a little bit of background into who you are as a musician and artist?

    Asher Ang: I started out at the age of five in classical music and was a pianist. I loved classical music but hated the repetition and discipline that came with it, nonetheless I was pushed by my parents to pursue it. In the meantime, I started listening to rock and metal in my early teens and began to appreciate the musical complexity and variety found in certain heavier genres, especially progressive and symphonic metal/rock. At fifteen, I decided I was done with classical piano and formed a rock band with some friends. I wrote music and was the vocalist for the band, and we produced our first album Redemption From Desolation before I got shipped off to college. Due to my academic and career aspirations to pursue law, I had to take a hiatus from all things music related. However, I would record scratch tracks during spurts of inspiration but never had the time to arrange or to engage in the songwriting process until I decided to re-record some of my old music which then birthed the album which is now known as Throne. I will say that I am a better writer than I am a performer, and I am blessed with a very talented group of friends who can execute my vision.

  • JFH (John): What are some specific influences (music or otherwise) that you drew from for this album?

    Asher: In terms of music, although I have an eclectic taste in music and listen to a broad variety of genres, I would say my primary influences are found in rock and metalcore, specifically symphonic rock and metal. I do think there is an underlying christian contemporary music (CCM) influence that is also present in the album.

  • JFH (John): How did Throne come about? Where do all the guests come from?

    Asher: It all started when I decided to catch up with a college roommate who was a music business student in 2021. He started his own music studio and proposed that I re-record some of my old songs that I had written some 10 years ago. So, we decided to record an EP of 3 songs (Repent, In Your Presence, Make Ready the Way), 2 of which were written about 10 years ago and the other (Make Ready the Way) was written in 2017. However, during the recording process, I had a sudden burst of inspiration and wrote the rest of the tracks that are now on the album.

    Most of the guests are music business students from Dallas Baptist University, my alma mater. Each of them are very talented in their own right and I was very privileged to be able to have access to such a wonderful pool of brilliant individuals.

  • JFH (John): Although rock is the main musical foundation for this record, you mix in plenty of variety. How did you mesh the different elements together to feel cohesive?

    Asher: I initially did not have a plan as to how the different tracks would mesh together since the record was supposed to only be 3 tracks. After I started adding tracks at random, I found that certain harmonic and melodic elements could be carried over from one track to the next and an overarching theme started surfacing despite the variations. A good example would be the last 5 tracks of the album where there is an audible link in the transition from the outro of one track to the intro of the next. Further, there is also a thematic flow that is kept in mind for the arrangements.

  • JFH (John): There's also a lot of Scriptural references in the lyrics. What drew you to these passages? Which has impacted you the most?

    Asher: Most of the music I write comes from my devotional time. Either it is me singing random songs to the Lord in my day to day walk or getting inspired while reading a passage of scripture. I am not sure what specifically drew me to the passages that appear on the track as these are passages that I either came across during my regular reading or I was simply reminded of it at a specific point in time. I am not sure whether I can necessarily single out a passage that has impacted me the most since different passages have provided me with encouragement and strength at different times. At present, I have been meditating a lot on Psalm 23, which is the inspiration for "Obey."

  • JFH (John): "Burn the Harlot" stands out for how dramatic it is. Where did you find the guy who read the Revelation passage for that? His voice sounded familiar.

    Asher: I got the inspiration for "Burn the Harlot" while reading Revelation 17-18 and I quite literally had the melody play in my head as I was reading the passage. The narrator is James Frazee, he is a friend of mine from college and my current colleague at my workplace. He used to work in radio, hence the deep radio voice.

  • JFH (John): What's the biggest takeaway you hope listeners will get from your record?

    Asher: I want listeners to be encouraged that the Lord is still seated on the throne and He is ultimately in control despite the chaos in this world. For us believers, we can have a hope that we will one day be with him in Paradise for eternity.

  • JFH (John): What do you plan on doing next? Another full length?

    Asher: I am not quite sure and it will simply depend on whether I have the bandwidth, time, and resources for another album. I am still writing songs and I probably do have another batch of tracks for another album but I want to see how this album performs first before starting production of the second. I still have a day job and career to pursue, so my capacity is quite limited.

  • JFH (John): How can new listeners best connect with and support you?

    Asher: They could contact me via social media, I am more than happy to connect and pray with anyone. I suppose purchasing or streaming my album on one of the platforms like Apple Music or Spotify would be a wonderful support to me.

  • JFH (John): Finally, a goofy question: would you rather be at the center of a mosh pit at a rock concert or sitting front row to a performance of a classical piece of your choice?

    Asher: That is a very difficult question. I absolutely love both and cannot choose one or the either. I would enjoy moshing hard in a August Burns Red concert and similarly would enjoy dressing up and being in a performance of Handel's Messiah.

     

     

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