Here we go… I didn’t have the faintest idea what kind of style this formation would present. The band’s logo somewhat struck me as a Death Metal-related one, which didn’t prove to be totally incorrect. Nevertheless, ASCENSION do not play conventional “well … let’s blast a bit ’cause that’s what we’re best at” Death Metal. No – this surely isn’t the case. The information sheet the guys enclosed when sending their promo provides the interested listener with some hints at apparent influences that formed the style of ASCENSION. Well… I could have told… it’s acts such as CYNIC, CARCASS, DEATH, (this album is even dedicated to the memory of Chuck Schuldiner!!!). I personally would add such madmen like WATCHTOWER, MESHUGGAH, a bit of ATHEIST to the list of bands that seem to have taken some influence on ASCENSION’s sound. You name it. So, the ten compositions these ambitioned guys present here are relatively technical, varying, enhanced with loads of colourful facets. ASCENSION sound like a combination of the aforementioned WATCHTOWER (which definitely has something to do with their sound I reckon… but still, the way the drums are woven in the tracks reminds me of my old prog-faves – that’s quite clear) and DEATH in their “Human” phase (note: ASCENSION’S vocal work is more brutal though). Personally, I am not that deadkean on such music anymore ’cause sometimes I just have this feeling that open-minded Death Metal freaks should consider themselves a bit more profoundly with Jazz / Fusion cadences / compositional processes before they dive into this dimension of creating music. Otherwise, the result sounds kind of dilettantish, which definitely is not the case with ASCENSION – but there are certain parts that just don’t sound right / don’t make sense in certain combinations with other ideas. I mean CYNIC combined their heavy sounds with Jazz-Fusion – and it sounded magnificent! You could hear in every note that all made sense. With ASCENSION I sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable ’cause I have this impression they weren’t conscious of the meaning of some of their incorporated ideas. Anyway… on the whole, this debut CD is far above average, offers solid musician-ship, an ok-ish production (self-produced… congratulations – good result, folks… nevertheless, you shouldn’t trigger the snare ’cause that’s not really necessary when you have a drummer who plays rather mid-tempo based patterns… trigger-sounds just don’t have any dynamics whatsoever!!!). One can kind of sense that ASCENSION are really dedicated musicians who prefer intelligent music rather than shallow high-speed non-sense. Maybe a bit of polishing – that is, improvement – of the elements I stated above… if I may say so. This album deserves to be listened to – so contact these weirdo’s via: firstname.lastname@example.org
F. Cthulhu E.