Ascension - Far Beyond The Stars
Far Beyond The Stars Album Cover
Ascension are a melodic power metal band from Scotland. Their debut album Far Beyond The Stars is being released worldwide through the Japanese label Spiritual Beast. The album was recorded at Sonic Train Studios in Sweden.
Ricki Carnie - Vocals
Fraser Edwards - Guitars
Stuart Docherty - Guitars
Nick Blake - Bass Guitar
Dick Gilchrist - Drums.
Right from the beginning, opening with the song 'Somewhere Back In Time', the band's talent is evident. Each member of the band has their time to shine right from the very start of this song, making it the perfect way to open this power metal album.
Next is the relentless 'Blackthorn', with a barrage of shredding guitars and thundering drums right from the beginning, 'Blackthorn' captivates the listener with clever lyrical themes and catchy melodies. Similarly in 'Reflected Life', the lyrics are well thought out and have clear meaning.
'Heavenly' is the fourth track on the album, with astonishing performances from every member of the band, most notably Dick Gilchrist playing a mixture of lightning fast and complex patterns, complimenting the music perfectly.
Next we have the 8 minute fantasy monster 'Moongate' which seems primarily focussed on the themes of space and time (recurring themes throughout the album). The most notable part of this song is the utterly epic vocal performance from Carnie.
Sixth is the instrumental track 'Orb Of The Moons'. Set at a slightly slower pace, this really allows the band to show what they're capable of. Comparable to pieces such as Stratosphere and Stratofortress by Stratovarius, you will find this one stuck in your head for a while after listening.
The pace is slowed right down now, for the ballad of the album entitled 'The Silver Tide'. This song in particular displays the often sought after variation within albums of this genre. Carnie's vocal performance highlights the diversity in his abilities, nicely setting the scene in this soft ballad.
'The Time Machine' returns to the theme of time, in particular, time travel in this seven minute, fast paced epic track with a fantastic orchestral mid-section.
'Far Beyond The Stars' again displays the variety of tracks on the album. This particular track is an orchestral introduction to the tenth track on the album, and my personal favourite, 'The Avatar'.
Again, a brilliant display of the talent on offer in this band, 'The Avatar' tells a great tale with lots of orchestral influence throughout, followed by a slower paced, headbanging outro.
The album ends with the furious 'Time For War'. An all out power metal assault. This song appeared on a previous EP from the band and the new version clearly displays how the band has matured over the past short while.
To conclude, the debut album from Ascension is a total winner. If you like bands like Stratovarius, Dragonforce or Hammerfall then you are bound to love this album. It displays clear variety, so is not repetitive, but keeps the listener on the edge of their seat, waiting to hear what the Scottish power metallers can offer them next.
Overall, a highly recommended album from a great up and coming power metal band, offering some fresh additions to the genre and a unique style, Ascension are on the rise.
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.