Album Reviews

Ashent – Flaws of Elation Review

ashent_flawasofelation_cover

Released by: Lion Music

Release Date: April 19th, 2013

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.ashent.net/

 

Line Up:

Flaws of Elation Line-Up

Steve Braun (vocals)

Onofrio Falanga (guitars)

Gianpaolo Falanga (bass and growl)

Davide Buso (drums)

Cristiano Bergamo (guitars)

Paolo Torresani (keyboards)

 

Ashent (demo) Line-Up

Max Zhena (vocals)

Onofrio Falanga (guitars)

Gianpaolo Falanga (bass and growl)

Jacopo “JC” De Simone (drums)

Thomas Giro (guitars)

Paolo Torresani (keyboards)

 

Tracklist:

01. Flaws of Men

02. Mhysteric

03. Awakened’s transitions

04. Fallen Angel

05. Illusory

06. Silent Remedy

07. Anaemic Ardency

08.Persistence of Frailty

09.A Puzzled Sentiment

10. Eden

11. Awakened’s transitions (demo 2003)

12. Fallen Angel (demo 2003)

13. Anaemic Ardency (demo 2003)

14. Eden (demo 2003)

 

Italian band Ashent was formed in 2001 by the Falanga brothers. Ashent has successfully recorded 3 full-length albums however the debut album “Flaws of Elation” was for a long time out of print. Fortunately Lion Music label will reissue this CD on 19th April 2013 with a new cover-work adding ultra-rare 2003 4-track self-titled demo as bonus tracks.

The band performs Melodic Progressive Metal with some Power Metal elements. The music reminds me a less aggressive and not so thrashy version of Eldritch mixed with Dream Theater. Complex and varied musical structures are present in all tracks. A bit unusual that songs are not very long for Progressive (about 4-5 minutes) but they are full of different ideas and almost don’t have any boring repetitive parts. The album is quite dynamic, there are not not very fast samples, but most of the tracks are slightly up-tempo which is a plus.

After the short intro the album begins with “Mhysteric” – a track that shows all trademarks of the band, complicated, technical and melodic, though it seems to me not very catchy. Fortunately the next song “Awakened’s Transition” is more impressive, intensive and speedy and even contains some jazzy improvisations at the end. “Fallen Angel” is mid-tempo and memorable by original main theme, “Illusory”, “Silent Remedy” and “Anaemic Ardency“ are in the same vein with “Awakened’s Transition”, driven and technical. “Persistence of Frailty” is a more calm and atmospheric number and I could mention very good bass guitar work here.

“A Puzzled Sentiment” is an instrumental track but despite of middle pace it is bright and sounds fresh and interesting. The final track “Eden” is one of the best songs here. Strong melodic lines and orchestral arrangements are perfectly crossed with unpredictable tempo changes and acoustic outro at the end of the song closes nicely this album. All musicians are skillful and technical, guitar parts are decent and craftsmanship, keyboards are bright and inventive, bass guitar do not vanished in the sound, drumming is outstanding, varied and assigns a complex rhythmical basis to the music. American singer Steve Braun is really a good vocalist with a high but a standard voice (for Progressive Metal) though some occasional growl back vocals nicely contrast with it. The sound and mixing are nearly perfect.

Demo versions of the songs have been recorded with other drummer and singer. The demo is not so perfectly recorded and technically played but in some aspects it is more sincere and warm than the full-length CD. The songs are more Power Metal oriented and dynamic with dominant keyboard work. Former singer Max Zhena has a wide ranged voice which it is slightly lower than Steve Braun’s one and not so typical for Progressive Metal.

The whole album is very good however not all tracks are very impressive to my mind. Nevertheless “Flaws of Elation” is a worthy CD, the band demonstrated a strong potential here which was successfully realized on the next releases. It should be recommended to all fans of Modern Progressive Metal.

 

Written by Egor “EG Power”

Ratings    Egor    8/10

 

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