After the thoroughly impressive Dysangelium debut Thánatos Áskēsis, World Terror Committee unleashes yet another impressive black metal release, this time in the form of German black metal horde Ascension‘s sophomore full length album, The Dead of the World. With the band’s 2010 debut Consolamentum garnering critical acclaim, fans have awaited anxiously for four years for the follow up to finally drop.
Right from the opening track The Silence of Abel, fans of Ascension are immediately brought to familiar ground, as they build on the style that they introduced on Consolamentum. One is quickly reminded of the atmospheric and almost ritualistic style of bands such as Watain and Acrimonious right from the start, and rather than having too much of a focus on speed and brutality, Ascension instead focuses rather heavily on the atmosphere on the record. Apart from the thick and mysterious fog that often shrouds the listener, the band does not shy away from the usage of melodic guitar lines to create a sense of desperation and hopelessness in the listener.
Songs like Death’s Golden Temple are perfect examples of Ascension‘s style of black metal, as the band goes through the entire range of negative emotions on this 9-minute epic, from the mid-paced, almost ritualistic moments that remind one of more recent Marduk works to a sudden shift of gear into more frantic, and chaotic moments. All these while, the band manages to maintain a sense of epic-ness with the majestic drum tone, and the entire aural eargasm leaves one mesmerised throughout. Unlocking Tiamat even sees the band include some disturbing, dissonance into their mix, sending chills down one’s spine.
Production-wise, The Dead of the World hits the spot, and while nothing too raw over here, the band ensures that none of the instruments are buried in the mix, and this is certainly one of the key points that made the release such an enjoyable listen. The bass especially is kept rather high in the mix, and often this provides an ominous growl throughout the record, giving The Dead of the World a nice, full tone.
With all the factors in perfect balance, fans of black metal are sure to be kept enchanted with Ascension‘s sophomore full length.
Recommended track(s): Death’s Golden Temple