Review: Ascension

Minnesota based progressive black metal Amiensus in 2015 return with their second studio album Ascension, which finds its way across the Atlantic ocean by Spring 2016.

Even in 2015, more than thirty years since the advent of black metal in Europe, American still hasn’t quite caught up in this particular brand of extreme metal (despite being one half of the death metal equation). Of the few which do make it out, the quality has been variable to say the least. However the second album by Amiensus buck the trend by producing an intricate and wonderfully varied album in Ascension.

On These Deserted Plains kicks off in typical black metal fashion, carry a hint of Dimmu Borgir‘s grand atmospherics before abruptly halting into an acoustic and clean guitar passage. It then transitions into a clean singing passage before concluding on the black metal which started the song. It’s a tone-setter for the album as a whole. Towards Horizon is probably best thought of as the album’s ballad, transcending from a musically and vocally melodic start and slowly building towards a black metal conclusion.

What Words Creates is a more typical (used very loosely) black metal affair in the main, which incorporates elements of clean singing and pauses for slower passages, including a melodic guitar solo. One In Spirit is perhaps more melodic death metal than black, however it provides yet another variation of the styles. Divine Potion of Acumen sees the band turn in perhaps the most atypically (not too loosely) conventional black metal song of the album.

Ascension is one of the most diverse black metal albums put to recording which doesn’t ended veering wildly into avant-garde. It’s use of more “American” style melodic metal elements provides it with a refreshing and different tone compared to their European cohorts. Whilst traditionalists may scoff at Amiensus strong melodic musings, it does not detract from the fact that Ascension is perhaps one of the most wondrous and varied of black metal albums which remains consistently strong for it’s entirety.

Rating : 10 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. On These Deserted Plains
  2. Towards Horizon
  3. What Words Create
  4. One In Spirit
  5. Delphic Ither
  6. Divine Potion of Acumen
  7. Time Is Growing Old
  8. Glass Dungeon
  9. What Evil Lay Dormant