Shadowgarden tries on their debut album to stay clear of the genre's many overused clichés, and they succeed for most parts. Mastermind Johan Ericson (Draconian) has created an album full of dark melancholic rock songs that borders to metal, and it is naturally hard not to discover references to the Finnish Gothic scene, primarily around the mid-90s as well as the occasionally Paradise Lost reference.
I normally prefer my gothic music to be a bit more in the depressive end of the spectre, but find the combination of the dark groovy guitar riffs and female vocals of Lisa Johansson refreshing and it blows a breath of fresh wind into the genre. Sure they are not redefining the genre or bringing anything new to it, but the album is still a promising beginning for the band.
"Ashen " is a very well produced album with ten well written and crafted songs that surely should bring much joy for gothic rock fans all over the world.