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Ark Ascent – Downfall

Ark Ascent
by Brad Pfundheller at 25 September 2019, 4:41 PM

United Kingdom based Progressive Metal band ARK ASCENT is releasing their debut record “Downfall” for the world to hear this month. First formed in 2011 by guitarist Jack Kirby, and after a name change and some rearranging of the band, ARK ASCENT had picked up other ex band numbers of well-known UK bands to write and practice to form what we hear on the album today.

“Arrival”, the opening track features some really mellow keyboard playing accompanied by fast pace drumming. The guitars serve as the balance between the two, and it starts to tell a story with all the instruments combined. The next song “Point of No Return” has a really nice feel to it. The sudden speed changes throughout, tremolo picking, and the double kick pedals from the drums are just some of the many things going on in this song. This is where we first hear the vocals from Rogue Marechal and what I would call “Power Metal” style singing. “Sanctuary” begins with a really groovy riff then extends into what feels like outer space, thanks to the keyboard entering the song. The guitars are phenomenal in this track. “Farewell” starts out and ends with isolated piano keys and emotional singing from the vocalist.

“Downfall” really puts the 80’s hair metal vibe into it. More power metal singing and distorted guitars. It could make for a ballad one day. It has that sort of that, catchy sing along sound to it. I respect that it’s a very well written and produced track. “Innocence Lost” starts with calming guitar chords and then progressively speeds up when the vocals enter. The singing fits perfectly as well. The final track on the album “The End Of Time” is made for a great ending to the album. It’s full of sublime, and awe-inspiring grooves. The track starts with some very eerie dissonant notes and builds up to a calm relaxing melody in the verse. Then changes to full dynamics of passion infused vocals with power chords echoing behind them.

In terms of Progressive Metal, ARK ASCENT definitely fits the category. I would also say they are more 80’s/90’s power metal oriented; which I’m not an exactly an expert on. But I can tell you that this album was well written and put together and all those years that these guys put into writing and recording this record is starting to pay off. If you love Metal in an overall sense, then you will probably dig this album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Arrival
2. Point Of No Return
3. Sanctuary
4. Darkest Hour
5. Farewell
6. Downfall
7. Ascension
8. Innocence Lost
9. The Aftermath
10. Closer To Heaven
11. The End Of Time
Rogue Marechal – Vocals
Jack Kirby – Guitars/ Keyboards
Andrea Arcangeli – Bass
Michael Brush – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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