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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - November
  • Disconnect
    Disconnect
    by Threat Signal
Video of the Month - November
  • Dimevision Vol. 2 - Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over
    Dimevision Vol. 2 - Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over
    by Dimebag Darrell
#DefineMetal
  • Metal: The Definitive Guide
    Metal: The Definitive Guide
    by Garry Sharpe-Young
Props

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
Inspiration
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    by Michael Moynihan, Didrik Soderlind
  • Retribution
    Retribution
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts
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Monday
May222017

Ancient Ascendant - Raise The Torch

I must say, I do enjoy some hand-drawn album cover art. Yessir.You don't often think of Britain when you think of black or death metal, but you're in for a pleasant (?) surprise with the lads in Ancient Ascendant, whose third album Raise The Torch is an impressive mix of many different metal styles in a cohesive new hybrid. Blimey.

After a brooding intro (Reawakening), things kick into full gear with Our Way. The gutteral vocalizations of death metal are prominent, but over the 70s style guitar riffs in the chorus it takes on a cool vibe rather than the usual menace that pervades the genre; imagine a Scandanavian Black Sabbath, not bent on scowling through corpse paint, but drinking and smoking weed. It's perhaps a little confusing at first. I mean the album's [John] Baizley-esque cover art and the band's medeval logo say death or doom metal, but then you hear the hand claps in the chorus of Scaling The Gods like it's a lost Monkees tune.

Don't get me wrong; I love it. The future of metal at this point is largely based on new bands and their artful blending of seemingly disparate styles into new and entertaining hybrids - something much easier said than done. But these blokes pull it off quite handily without becoming self-parody. Don't expect the blazing solos of melodeath, but the groove here is genuine and highly enjoyable.

The Bottom Line: Ancient Ascendant may not be a household name, but their music is authentically heavy metal, going back to its British roots, while incorporating the aggression and energy of the Scandanavian innovations of black and death metal. Good stuff that.

- Genghis can dig some groovy tunes, 'specially now that summer's arriving...

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