Released: 2014, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Being a keen fan of Skeletonwitch, Scythe and all other US blackened death metal groups, I’ve long been searching for a UK counterpart. And it wasn’t until I was sent Ancient Ascendant’s second album, that I knew my quest was complete. ECHOES AND CINDER showcases the Reading outfit at their most angry and brutal from the moment you press play. ‘Crones to the Flames’ has vocalist Alex Butler screaming in your ear before you can catch first glimpse of the guitars and drums.
‘Patterns of Bane’ and ‘Riders’ both imitate the groovy, NWOBHM influenced riffs of US blackened death metal outfits by employing very memorable chords. Plus, the hypnotic and not too technical drums shove a wall of sound in your face that will bruise your ear drums. What I wasn’t expecting were the acoustic moments on ‘Fuelling the Flare’ which I found very impressive. Moroseness and blind rage are on Ancient Ascendant’s agenda and they want to give you the best atmosphere to get the picture.
‘Embers’ continued the acoustic melodies which acted as a good relief from all the anguish, but also made a good interval for the evil on the second half of the album. These guys certainly know how to prepare you for the best they have on offer – something which certainly put this album onto a winner.
Continuing the brief melodies on ‘The Toll of Mourning’ told me ECHOES AND CINDER would be a great recommendation for any Dissection or Immolation fan. Ancient Ascendant will please many crowds with this release, especially those who love basic death metal, grindcore and blackened thrash and death tunes. It’s pleasing to know UK death metal still has a deep canon of up and coming bands to keep the most extreme genre of metal alive and well.
Review by Demitri Levantis