ASCENDENCY "A Manifest Of Imperious Destiny" Mini CD (Dark Descent Records 2023)
Prepare for the ultimate black/death metal assault by Denmark’s Ascendency… Following a punishing demo in 2019 and their equally merciless 2020 MLP, they now return with another tome of destruction. Four new tracks span an unforgiving half-hour of desecration.
While Denmark has offered some of the best contemporary death metal in the last decade or so, Ascendency are quite a unique beast within this. Their much darker, venomous black metal influences create disquiet with uncomfortable atmospherics that still retain that brutality, just with a much-more-unhinged twist. These new pieces showcase what the band has incubated in the last three years, which is feral and harrowing musical extremity with a sepulchral atmosphere and tremendous musicianship to boot. Reverberating howls and guitars send a chill through the ossuary while drums hammer through remaining skulls with ease.
While Ascendency clearly revel in delivering punishment, they do so with intricate and carefully constructed songs that contain more than enough nuance to really sink your teeth into. Melodic-yet-bestial riffs charge atop devastating percussion with demonic vocals while never straying too far from the cacophony of fury remains the heart of this untamed sound. The subtleties tie in with bludgeoning violence effortlessly and leave us with a truly potent, memorable, and distinguished record. Atmosphere and malice, when they coexist in such a manner, become an unstoppable beast, so prepare for annihilation if you seek out this mystical-yet-malignant gem of underground might. Delve into oblivion with these new offerings of unfaltering triumph and might. [text by Jørgen Sven Kirby, Nattskog webzine]