4 out of 5 Stars!
For several years in the ’70s, Annie Haslam and company released a series of top-quality albums, with Ashes Are Burning being among the best of them.
Although perhaps not quite as stunning as the U.K. band’s 1975 magnum opus Scheherazade and Other Stories, Ashes Are Burning still contains plenty of luscious, haunting, and mesmerizing Symphonic Prog material thanks to songs such as “Can You Understand,” “At The Harbour,” “Let It Grow,” and the sweeping eleven-minute title track, with harpsichord and the rare appearance of organ, some particularly melodic and punchy bass riffs and frantic drums, and also featuring guest star Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash) on electric guitar.
Annie’s magnificent and wide-ranging voice, whether delivering either a tricky and progressive melody line or one of a poppier nature, typically sends chills of excitement up my spine, while John Tout’s wonderfully tasteful and beautiful grand piano passages never fail to astound me.
Simply beautiful! Ashes Are Burning would be a great place to start for anyone who’s unfamiliar with this unique band yet is yearning to investigate.