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Ascendant: A Thousand Echoes
Ascendant - A Thousand Echoes Music Review

Ascendant: A Thousand Echoes

Heavy/Power/Progressive Metal
4.5/5.0

Music is an international language, and heavy metal is a worldwide phenomena influencing many people in many nations. Hailing from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Ascendant includes an international cast of musicians from Armenia, India, and Syria. That's right, Syria, which is currently under siege from the twin terrors of civil war and a despotic dictator. Needless to say, Ascendant pens songs that reflect the raw emotion of these perilous times. Self-released some ten months ago, A Thousand Echoes gets international distribution through Germany's Pure Steel Publishing.

Ascendant Band Photo

Ascendant

You'll find Ascendant's music to be familiar: a combination of traditional heavy and power metal with some prog nuances in the arrangements. One of the first things you'll notice about an Ascendant song is its inherent heaviness, especially in the bottom end of the rhythm section. The drums are thundering, the bass thumping, in both power and groove. These are topped off by thick brisk riffage throughout. Yet despite this dense heaviness, melody and harmony, rhythm and groove, are not lost. After these things, and also quite exceptional, the guitar solos are spry, fiery, and abundant throughout. Additionally, you'll hear some piano and synths weaving their way through many songs. Finally, as for Youmni Abou Al Zahab's vocal style, you'll find him to be strong and assertive, yet still singing melodic and clean.

Some song highlights then. One of the most compelling songs, both musically and lyrically, is Land Of A Thousand Echoes. Musically, it launches with expansive symphonic synths, classical piano, and lighter vocals before rising into epic melodic heavy metal. Lyrically, the song is about the many people who attempt to escape their war torn lands via perilous sea journeys. Also, the song features Simon and Elias Abou Assali, two brothers who survived one of those dangerous voyages. You might want to buy the album on the strength of that song.

Another song of interest, especially in the arrangement, is At The End Of The World. It begins with an aggressive display of bombastic power metal riffage, then later, about the midpoint, it drops into a light acoustic guitar breakdown. This in turn is followed by classical piano leading to the end. Within Morning Light, Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle Of Filth) adds some sweet vocal harmony in the chorus to an otherwise thundering piece of heavy metal. For more strict heavy power metal look to Doomsday Machine and Walls Between Us, where the staccato drums turn into a propelling rock groove. Suffice to say, for a debut album, Ascendant's A Thousand Echoes is equally powerful, compelling, and entertaining: some very fine progressive power metal. Buy it. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

For a debut album, Ascendant's A Thousand Echoes is equally powerful, compelling, and entertaining: some very fine progressive power metal. Buy it. Easily recommended.

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