Released: 2011, Nightmare Records
Divine Ascension are new comers to the global metal stage. These six Australians initially surfaced back in 2007 with a well-received demo that helped get the attention of their current label, Nightmare Records. If you know anything about this Lance King-run label, you’ll know that it specializes in progressive power metal, featuring such acts as Anubis Gate, Cypher Seer, and Eyefear. That’s some musically impressive, respected company, and these Aussies fit comfortably into that group.
AS THE TRUTH APPEARS is everything you’d expect from a progressive power metal release: it has washes of keyboards but is firmly rooted in guitar riffs, it’s progressive but only slightly so, more concerned with kicking ass than noodling around, and it features a powerful female vocalist who, fortunately, stays far away from both the goth and operatic styles. All of this is instantly clear on opening track “Answers”; a great mission statement from the band, showing off both their strong sense of melody and technical prowess. There are some dual female/male vocals in the song, but it’s the exception on the album (Jennifer Borg handles 95% of the singing).
After such a strong beginning, I was initially disappointed with the rest of the album as few of the following songs really grabbed me on the first listen. However, further spins have proven that this album is definitely a grower, slowly revealing its hooks with each new listen. While “Vision Divine” remains a relatively weak track, others such as the aggressive “Garden of Evil” (a holdover from the demo) and the brooding, vaguely Egyptian-sounding “Another Battlefield” insinuate themselves slowly but forcefully.
At first listen, I was ready to right off these guys as just another average band, but successive listens have proven that Divine Ascension are the real deal and have some interesting ideas to offer. AS THE TRUTH APPEARS is definitely must-hear for fans of progressive power metal.