Country: Spain
Title: Of Fire and Ashes Pt.1
Label: Art Gates Records
Year: 2017
Style: Progressive Metal

After a couple of EPs and full-length albums released on their own, Valencia based Progressive Metallers The Third Grade inked a deal with the ever expanding Art Gates Records and here's the first fruit of this collaboration, a three tracks EP that probably announces a new studio album. Actually we get two new tracks here, with one of them, Ice, presented in two versions, the normal one and the radio edit one (shorter - 5 minutes instead of 8). We're dealing with a female fronted band, with a seriously synthetic and soft sound, not my fave production that's for sure. Being a Progressive Metal outfit it's obvious we're dealing with talented musicians that like and want to show their abilities so there's plenty of passages where they display their technique. The vocals are mainly female, supported by male clean vocals and at times even growls and background choirs, so the vocal section is pretty thought out, too. I hear influences from Hard'n'Heavy, Sleaze Rock, Symphonic Metal and even '80's Pop Rock and '70's Prog Rock I'd say, so a wide territory to experiment, and they surely don't mind taking their time and knowledge to try out new things. My only problem is with their soft, synthetic sound (at least the keys sound like they're shy, really!), but the compositions are interesting and they might grow on me if I'd have a full album to digest.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10