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Ascension - The Dead of the World Award winner

The Dead of the World
by Daniel Fox at 09 January 2015, 9:03 PM

It seems we have a double-blow from the Occult Black Metal Germans ASCENSION, a second EP "Deathless Light" and a second full-length "The Dead Of The World" released only a few months apart. Without meaning to brag, I like to think I have experienced my fair share of Black Metal, with discoveries like BÖLZER and ENDSTILLE healthily-mindfucking me along the way. ASCENSION breathe a fresh, uplifting dose of air into the genre, in the utmost transcendent sense; black metal that truly feels inspired.

To begin with, we have "The Silence of Abdel"; a slow-paced, steadily rolling mass that inches forth with deadly purpose. It is a different kind of heavy; a deeper, darker form of music that weighs much more heavily on one's shoulders than the sheer force of crunchy riffs or fast bass drums. While there are frenetic outbursts of pained melodies and bombastic smatterings of more 'typical' riffs, it stays the course and paves unhallowed ground upon which the band lays its foundation. Not usually is the first track of an album my favourite, but "The Silence of Abdel" stands tall as a Black Metal masterpiece. If anything, "Death's Golden Temple" appears to continue that mood, but eventually delves back into more traditional deliveries of the genre, at least for a moment; even more adventurous than the previous track, it is a lot to take in; much like the rest of the album. Alas, terrific guitar soloing is present, but acts more so as a second voice, or medium for the band's art, as opposed to auxiliary show-offery.

If a Black Metal album is, at first, hard to take in, then the band is doing something right; this is not the kind of music designed for the ears of those who know a single DIMMU BORGIR track; "Unlocking Tiamat", for instance, operates on yet another subterranean level. Less of a song and more so a misanthropic, unholy mantra, it forgoes typical song structure for a cascade of abyssal riffs as all glimmers of light slowly fade. "Mortuis Mundi", the album's closing track, runs close to 11 minutes; I'm amusing myself at how many people are going to look at the tracklist and scream bloody murder; this is not a short-and-sharp, 40-minute Pest-era GORGOROTH record, but a lengthy, inaccessible abomination. The track flows with surprising ease, though the feeling experienced is less of a current and more of a vortex nearing an event horizon.

Were the year still 2014, I would have, by far, considered this to be the superior Black Metal album of the year. ASCENSION hit a nerve; their outwardly occult appearance seemingly not just for show, the band members unknown. It is refreshing to hear a Black Metal band not take the genre for granted.

5 Star Rating

1. The Silence of Abdel
2. Death's Golden Temple
3. Black Ember
4. Unlocking Tiamat
5. Deathless Light
6. The Dark Tomb Shines
7. Mortui Mundi
No Information Available
Record Label: World Terror Committee


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