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Nth Ascension – Ascension of Kings

Nth Ascension
Ascension of Kings
by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell at 09 February 2015, 1:19 PM

Nth Ascension is a Progressive band from the U.K. formed in 2010. This is their second album to date, and contains eight tracks. From the webpage, they bill themselves as “Rock with a Progressive Edge.”

“Fourth Kingdom” leads off the album, with a slow, crunchy riff and the vibrato laden voice of Alan Taylor. Liberal use of keys and background ambiance give it that Progressive edge. Subtle but effective chord changes in the chorus really drive home that fantastical feeling that I love in this kind of music. The chorus is staying with me long after I have move on from the song.

“Return of the King” does indeed have a majestic quality to it, with a med tempo swing and spacy keyboard solo. It’s a powerful instrumental that showcases the band’s musicianship and songwriting nicely. “Strange Dreams” is a seven minute track with a riff using major chords. Once again the vocals shine and a memorable chorus offers a sublime feeling. Next, we venture into the song “Clannan,” with three movements. “Overture” sets the stage. I get the distinct feeling here that I am witnessing an alien space landing of sort, but it’s welcomed and peaceful. Just enough is said here to make that impression. The four note keyboard melody is as haunting as it is beautiful. When the drums enter the frey, it is carried to a new dimension. “Realm with a Soul” is the second part. At first it sounds dark and brooding, but quickly turns to piety with soft, acoustic guitar and pleasing vocal harmonies. “Seventh Rider” closes out the song. Instead of a bombastic sort of reprise, it’s a pensive ending, accentuating the delicate beauty of the instrumentation.

“Weight of the World” has a nice combination of piano, guitar, and echoing vocal harmonies. Though the gravity of the lyrical message is strong, it is dealt with in the same way you would usher your worries away by lying in the grass watching clouds roll by a blue sky. The closing track “Vision” is nearly nineteen minutes long. It opens in grandeur, with intentionality and foreshadowing of a darker sound. Yet as it progresses, there is actually a nice mixture of light and dark, especially during the instrumental interlude, where the ominous suspense is at an all-time high. It’s the perfect culminating track to the album.

Being a huge fan of Prog music, I have gobbled up as much music in this genre as I possibly can. This has an old-school feel to it, yet it remains very relevant in today’s scene. The album is skillfully created yet it flows easily with melodic bliss.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fourth Kingdom
2. Return of the King
3. Strange Dreams
4. Overture (Clannan Pt. 1)
5. Realm with a Soul (Clannan Pt. 2)
6. Seventh Rider (Clannan Pt. 3)
7. Weight of the World
8. Vision
Lineup:
Alan “Spud” Taylor – Vocals
Martin Walker – Guitars
Gavin Walker – Bass
Darrel Treece Birch – Keyboards
Craig Walker – Drums and Percussion
Record Label: Sonic Vista
     


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Edited 19 October 2018
 

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