Ancient Ascendant

The Grim Awakening

Written by: EW on 08/10/2011 15:59:50

"The Grim Awakening" is the debut album from British death metal upstarts Ancient Ascendant, a record which in it's tendency to recall Polish titans Vader stands it quite apart from the majority of today's young DM bands of these isles whom are a vastly more mechanical and technological breed (ala, Trigger the Bloodshed). That is not to say the nine songs from this Reading bunch are akin to the underground foul stench of Autopsy, as tracks like the confusingly titled "Ravenous Undead of the Dead", "Titan" and the title track hammer with the kind of precise blasting post-Y2K death metal relies on, but there is a nice classic death metal heart to this beast that shows some promise for a band not exactly bent on rewriting the rule book.

Opener "The Scorn of Dead Men" actually opens very reminiscent of black/death maestros Melechesh in the chord structure, but from that point onwards the commonly recognised sound is more akin to the aforementioned and highly respected Poles. Had we all not become accustomed to the frequent changes of tempo and riff that are simply part of the modern death metal template it would be easy to be taken aback by the (relative) complexity of Ancient Ascendant as each track is confident enough to mix the medium and slow with the expected kick-drum led barrage of crashing riffs and classic-sounding DM grunts and growls, all sounding like a band with years of experience behind each and every change of direction that with few exceptions a sense of satisfaction in my ears.

Need I hardly say production quality is crisp and clear - I'll let you be the judge if that constitutes an 'excellent' production - and attuned to bring out the best in the band. As an article for raising their hopes as a support act to incoming big name bands, "The Grim Awakening" is commendably solid and though lacking in the spectacular, something that Ancient Ascendant can very much rise from on album number two.

Download: Ravenous Undead of the Dead, The Scorn of Dead Men
For The Fans Of: Vader, Bloodshot Dawn
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 15.08.2011
Siege of Amida Records

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