Ancient Ascendant – Echoes and Cinder – Candlelight Records– Out now
The past years have been kind to Ancient Ascendant. After starting life as Heretic back in 2003 and changing their name to Ancient Ascendant they recorded a demo and two EP’s before releasing their debut album “The Grim Awakening” in 2011, quickly following it up with another EP in 2012. Playing with a lot of great names in the death and black metal scene has certainly rubbed off on them as they began writing their second album in 2013. Time to see if “Echoes and Cinder” fits the reputation the band has garnered so far.
Ancient Ascendant is:
Alex Butler – Guitar and Vocals
Dave Moulding – Drums
Alan Webb – Bass guitar
Nariman Poushin – Guitar
Echoes and Cinder
What a diverse album this has turned out to be! Opening up with the very catchy melodic death metal of “Crones to the Flames” the band wastes no time in laying down the groove and they have you banging in no time. The music has a full and powerful sound without being overproduced to crystal clearness. Follow-up “Patterns of Bane” shows that the band isn’t shy in using an acoustic intro which still manages to set a dark foreboding tone. What follows is a song that’s decidedly more aggressive than the previous one, even dipping into black metal, while still retaining great grooves.
Ancient Ascendant really excels in combining groove, aggression and melody into one very strong package. The diversity of the songs doesn’t feel schizophrenic; it shows a band that is willing to take basic ingredients and work from that, rather than staying with the same sound.
Another sign of that is the soft melodic intermezzo of “Embers”, which manages to sound relaxed yet threatening at the same time. Following that is “To Break the Binds” which slightly reminds me of Amon Amarth due to the melodies contained within, without losing their own identity. From beginning to the end with “Caged in Tunnels of Time” I can’t seem to find any moment that I dislike.
Ancient Ascendant manage to consistently bring a high class mix of melody, groove and aggression. “Echoes and Cinder” has turned out to be a very energetic and mature album. Highly recommend for people who like grooving death metal with some great catchy melodies.
- Crones to the Flames
- Patterns of Bane
- Fueling the Flare
- To Break the Binds
- The Toll of Mourning
- Caged in Tunnels of Time
Score: 4.3 out of 5
Written by Robert Popovic