“I shall bring fire
As above,so below”
Thus begins “The Silence of Abel”, the 1st song from “The Dead of the World“. Released on the 24 of December 2014 AB, Ascension’s 2nd full length took exactly 4 years to come into being. For some, 4 years may seem a very long pause, or silence even, but in Ascension’s case, this long silence was used to create what has become one of the most profund black metal albums ever released.
Unlike many nowadays black metal bands, Ascension has released in its 8 years of existence only 2 albums and two Eps and has not toured extensively until this year, when they have embarked on the Under Four Wings of Death Tour, in order to promote the latest release.
As their previous albums, “The Death of the World” was released through WTC, a well known German label that houses many interesting black metal bands such as Acherontas, Dysangelium etc.
Precedeed by the “Deathless Light” EP, ” The Death of the World” is one 7 headed dragon of an album, as each of its heads spew brimstone, fire and blood through their fanged mouths.
It’s more than clear why it took Ascension 4 years to give birth to this unborn child since every song is so fine crafted and fits so well within the context of the album. The perfect mixture between the crushing, slower parts and the insane,demonical riffs and blast beats makes the songs to be easily assimilated by the hungry listener.
An eerie feeling of morbidity emanates from the vocals, which are raspy, harsh and haunted. Every detail falls perfectly into pieces transforming this music into the perfect soundtrack of your nightmares.
Even if aggressive to the core, the songs are full of melody, caused by the wailing guitar solos that appear from out of nowhere, exactly when the listener expects them the less (eg Deathless Light, Mortui Mundi).
A couple of guest musicians appear on this album to provide a more horrenduos feeling by lending their vocal skills. So we have The Magus from Necromantia doing some additional vocals on “Unlocking Tiamat” and Mors Dalos Ra from Necros Christos on “Mortui Mundi”.
From the 1st track to the last we have a black metal feast, wrapped in a deathly atmosphere, whose lyrics are related to death and the end of all things, as we know it. It’s all about transition, about spiritual evolution from one form to another, so beautifully put into music and words by this brilliant band.
I like the whole album it its entirety, but I have a soft spot for the closing song, “Mortui Mundi”, which is the perfect soundtarck for a funeral. Lasting for over 10’50’’, this piece of musical art takes you on a journey through ages long gone and times to come, filled with the grandeur of Lucifer.
“Mortui Mundi” is the quintessence of the album, where the violent blast beats that tear your ear and brain appart blend in such a beautiful way with the slow parts of extreme melancholy and sadness, expressed through the ending guitar solo.
“The Death of the World” is for me one of the best black metal albums that have ever been released in these past years, showing that Ascension have become a very mature band which knows exactly how to craft its (black) art.
1. The Silence of Abel
2. Death’s Golden Temple
3. Black Ember
4. Unlocking Tiamat
5. Deathless Light
6. The Dark Tomb Shines
7. Mortui Mundi