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Ascension - Far Beyond The Stars

Ascension
Far Beyond The Stars
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 September 2012, 6:45 PM

It has been quite a while since the first time that I sensed and acted on the basis of being a fan, an influenced starting musician on the road towards something spectacular while entrusting thoughts and directions merely on the gods that made the music that I am a fan of. Throughout the years I have come to know bands that their sole purpose was to protect and serve the Metal genre that they adored so much while I also came to know groups that wished to find themselves in such a big world of music thus attempting to create something of their own. Essentially, every band out there predicts that it will create the next best thing, but on most cases they are just reprising others that came before them. I believe that the main question should be to what rate are they reprising? When I entangled with the debut album, named "Far Beyond The Stars", of the British ASCENSION, signed to the Japanese Spiritual Beast Records, the first thought that came to my mind was – boy these guys are true fans of Power Metal, and of DRAGONFORCE and merely no other, maybe HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY can be mentioned on the same list.

On through the listening sessions I had with the album I battled with myself whether to like this one or not. In one hand, the ASCENSION crew is a capable team of talented members, fired up young with a lot of energy that seemed to be explode right on their first distributed material that shared such smoothness that is hard to ignore. Right from the start I noticed the flair on "Somewhere Back In Time", "Time For War", "Blackthorne", which sent me back to the old PC game of the mid 90s, and the album's gratified epos "The Avatar (Ascension)". No doubt about it that ASCENSION are mighty catchy and accessible, both with their speed and their power moments, knowing just where to tie the knots and unify all the melodic Metal fans under the same banner. Also I have to admit that some of these tunes stick, or at least some of them, On the other hand, almost nothing of their offering if genuine while more imitating their beloved bands, especially DRAGONFORCE, rather than infusing something that will mark a sort of a signature. Furthermore, track after track I felt that they were actually reprising themselves as the choruses landed one by one with the same proceedings; same maniacal arpeggio soloing that seemed to be the guitarists' proudest possession, besides the speeding. In addition, the tracks seemed to me a bit too lengthy. Just as on the DRAGONFORCE's albums, ASCENSION stretched their eposes. Nonetheless, several of those showed no reason to do so and turned out to be a forceful act. In addition, the album's production might sound bombastic but it sounded as if it was a big chunk in your face, like all the instruments were recorded in a single live recording yet without channel, probably a cause of bad mastering or mixing.

The same battling kept me contemplating with myself even when I am writing these words right now. ASCENSION have a bright future ahead of them nonetheless, however, I have to put out that they should try to stray away from being someone else. Every artist shares his admiration for someone that came before him, which has also probably served as his primary influence, and on many cases turns out to be just like him. When it came down to ASCENSION I could almost hear DRAGONFORCE but with different names and nationalities. I would like to know if the second album effect will draw them into a new dominion.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Somewhere Back in Time
2. Blackthorne
3. Reflected Life
4. Heavenly
5. Moongate
6. Orb of the Moons (Instrumental)
7. The Silver Tide
8. The Time Machine
9. Far Beyond the Stars
10. The Avatar (Ascension)
11. Time For War 
Lineup:
Ricki Carnie- Vocals
Stuart Docherty- Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Fraser Edwards- Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Dick Gilchrist- Drums
Nick Blake- Bass
Record Label: Spiritual Beast Records
     


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