Ascension – Under The Veil of Madness Review

Overall a work that is truly appreciated and welcomed...the result of the Scots' passion for faster and more guitar-driven power metal, an album that sees them return to the...

Released by: Self

Release Date: February 24th, 2023

Genre: Speed/Power Metal

Links: http://www.ascensionband.co.uk/

 

Line Up:

Richard Carnie

Fraser Edwards

Stuart Docherty

Nick Blake

Dick Gilchrist

 

Tracklist:

Sayonara
Megalomaniac
Defiance
Monsters
Set You Free
Last Winters Night
Under The Veil Of Madness
Power Of A Thousand Suns
Pages Of Gold
God Of Death

 

For years we had lost track of the Ascension, a Scottish quintet that made its debut eleven years ago with Far Beyond the Stars and returns to the scene with this Under the Veil of Madness, a second album recorded and self-produced professionally and stylistically in continuity with what was exhibited early in their career. The proposal in terms of songwriting and execution turns out to be a mix between the heavy and powerful nostalgic sound of the Eighties, with rhythmic accelerations typical of the following decade and traits of Melodic Power Speed Metal. The names that come to mind after the first listenings are Iron Maiden, and Helloween among other notable Metal bands, but both the fast rhythms and the guitar raids bring to mind what was later introduced by Edguy and subsequently Heavenly, Dragonforce and Twilight Force.

The opener Sayonara is introduced by a Maiden-like riff on which the guitars soar. The strong point of the band is the rhythm section, capable of reaching truly remarkable peaks of speed while maintaining precision and definition as evidenced by the double bass outbursts and by the breaks of the drums by Dick Gilchrist, often by applause as in the short and very compact Megalomaniac, a sort of Edguy launched at maximum speed mixed with the very first – and best – Dragonforce. The following Defiance is played on frighteningly fast rhythms alternating with more reflexive and melodic breaks, closely recalling some cues between power and symphonic metal of the early Heavenly era. There is no shortage of more articulated songs such as Monsters which is over seven minutes. The Ascension’s ambition rises with the nine-minute Last Winter’s Night – with good changes in the atmosphere.

Overall a work that is truly appreciated and welcomed…the result of the Scots’ passion for faster and more guitar-driven power metal, an album that sees them return to the scene with ambition and newfound energy. I’m not not sure where the hell this album came from or how it popped on our radar, but damn if it takes that long for a power metal record to come out and instantly bring flashes of all the great ones from the past, I guess is worth the wait. I can’t even began to compare albums here, but for some reason I keep going back to when Lost Horizon released mind melting and frenetic power metal back in 2001 with their debut “Awakening the World”. Is like these Scots got stuck there and decided to just bring everything back from that era, and honestly we are here for all of it. This record is shredtastic and it freaking slays.

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Ratings: 9/10

Editors Pick EditorPick Rex Brown - Smoke On This Review

 

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