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ASCENDED
ASCENDED
Temple Of Dark Offerings
(Iron Bonehead Productions)
23:29min

Five years, one demo, one EP, one split EP and then a very unfortunate premature burial ended the quite promising career of Finnish Doom / Death Metal act ASCENDED whose vocalist Tommi moved over to STENCH OF DECAY taking over bass duties and thus is still active in the scene. "Temple Of Dark Offerings", ASCENDED's sheer brilliant 2009 EP now has been released for the first time on vinyl with an alternate cover - a drawn, more old schoolish one - and ought to be considered a mandatory purchase for every lover of Finnish Death Metal. While ASCENDED also incorporated a doomy flair not unlike classic early Peaceville artists PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE, their roots are tightly tied to Finnish rotten soil and bands like ABHORRENCE, early AMORPHIS, DEMIGOD, DEPRAVITY, ADRAMELECH. Stepping into the "Temple Of Dark Offerings" will indeed bless you with crushing riffs, dark growls, mystic acoustic guitars and a captivating gloomy atmosphere that will guide you on your path towards godless immortality. I actually always liked this band a LOT from the still rawer demo to this EP (the split I just found about today, haha, need to check this out!) and would have hoped they would have been with us for a bit longer as nowadays bands like KRYPTS, STENCH OF DECAY, SWALLOWED are getting a lot of support and well-deserved praise and ASCENDED would have felt right to be amongst them. Too bad they are done, but this gem here will definitely not be a forgotten one and its MLP version here is definitely its ultimate version and strictly limited to 300 copies. Listen to this tune here to and if you don't agree with me afterwards that you HAVE to get this, then you'd better think over your understanding of death metal. ASCENDED kills and instead of wasting time reading this, order it asap at www.ironbonehead.de

Stefan Franke

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ASCENDED
ASCENDED
Temple Of Dark Offerings
(Detest Records)
23:31min

In my humble opinion, Death-Doom is a criminally underrated sub-genre in Metal. It is just incredible how great bands committed to the style never got the attention and respect they deserved. Some of them are personal faves such as SORROW (USA), AS SERENITY FADES (FIN), SPINA BIFIDA (NED), THERGOTHON (FIN) and WINTER (USA). ASCENDED could be easily included in that list, based on their sound. But nowadays, I think they will get a lot of well deserved attention! "Temple Of Dark Offerings" embraces you with its overall gloomy, depressive and heavy as hell atmosphere. These 4 tracks, clocking 23 minutes, just leave you wanting more. Guitar-wise, they achieved a brilliant combination of background sludgy riffing with constant melodic lines of the lead guitar, giving some of the songs an "epic" feel. Yet, there are acoustic passages neatly placed to add texture and variety, two very important aspects in ASCENDED's brand of Metal savagery. The rhythm section is somewhat basic, but flawless and powerful in execution. And last, but not least, the vocal delivery of Mr. Tommi Sookari, whose growls and shrieks fit in perfectly, is flawless and full of hate! He reminds me of Mr. Jukka Kolehmainen himself. This EP is a great listening experience. It just crawls into you slowly and painfully, as it was intended to do so. ASCENDED managed a great release that stands as proof of their intelligent hateful brand of Doom-Death Metal. A band to look out for. According to their myspace page, "Enucleation Records is out of the picture", so there is no set date for the vinyl version. They still have CD copies of "Temple Of Dark Offerings" and Detest Records just released a limited run of 200 tapes, so get them while you can! www.myspace.com/ascendedmetal, www.detestrecords.com

Alfonso Perez

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