Dabbling in dark, metallic fusion reminiscent of Chris Poland's "Return To Metalopolis" is Pennsylvania's Ashley Cook, who submitted a three song instrumental demo CD-R. The three tracks, recorded in Cook's own PsychoHermit Sound studio in the remote mountains of central Pennsylvania, all forge a sound grounded in early Metallica and Megadeth and offer disquieting guitar probings, head-snapping riffage, and a crushing sense of rhythmic power. I'd be great to pull a powerful drummer into this mix to see what might happen as Cook could let things unfold and get even heavier - almost prodigiously heavier. Cook also favors a lot of 'out' soloing, occasionally picking notes outside of key to lend a more mysterious and angst-ridden sound to the potent grind. Cook's like a lot of players in that he just needs to spend more time with his equipment and keep experimenting to get the ultimate speaker melting tones - material this heavy demands it.
Ashley has been playing guitar for about 13 years. He grew up listening to metal, and especially liked what artists such as James Hetfield and Joe Satriani were doing in the late '80s. Ashley formed his first band at age 19, Judgement, who started out doing Testament and Metallica covers before writing original material. When the band broke up, he released an experimental solo demo under the name Below in 1996, which got mostly good reviews. After a frustrating attempt at trying to find the right singer for another Below project, Ashley decided to try his hand at writing and recording instrumentals. He now finds he has the freedom he needs to pursue his musical goals. Ashley is aspiring to develop his own style, to continue to create freely and without restriction, to be unique and to just be himself.
Currently, Cook is writing for his next instrumental CD, as well as for another solo Below CD.
P.O. Box 60
Mineral Springs, PA 16855