Having spent the past few weeks meandering through the cerebral/instrumental/post-rock/ambient sections of the prog garden, I am feeling like I need to break out and blow an amp. The urge to scratch that itch landed me in the afore mentioned London area where I have been bathing my ears in the prog metal sounds of Ascending Dawn.
Ascending Dawn refers to themselves as "...progressive/melodic/ambient/metal..." Someone is obviously stalking me and inserting adjectives in conspicuous places, 'cuz I gotta check out just exactly what melodic ambient metal is! So let us make our way to the progressive buffet for serving number one...a song called "All In Now." A quick adjustment of the headphones as I hit play and suddenly it is "thrusters on." The guitars leap at you full force and the drums wrap around the entire song like a force field. The vocals manage to rise above the chaos to complete the ensemble. Ascending Dawn has set the tone for a strong week; let us now keep that momentum going...
Serving number two is a tune called "Cannonball." The song comes right at you from the start as it grabs hold of your head like a thick sable hat. The synchronicity is very good; everyone is playing at the top of their game. Ascending Dawn hits hard but luckily the blows are non-fatal...they simply careen around inside your skull. The vocals rise from the center of it all...gently at first as a false sense of serenity forms around a base of solid drum work, lifting guitars up and over the top. Another solid melodic/ambient smack down for those of you at home keeping score.
Liner Notes...Ascending Dawn is Marlain Angelides on vocals, Owen Rees on guitar, Constanze Hart on bass, and Mark Weatherley on drums. Coming together in 2013 with members from three corners of the planet, Ascending Dawn now calls London home. A pleasant surprise to find a prog band with two female members--Marlain is the one with the heavy hitting vocals while Constanze reminds me of an angst-filled Tina Weymouth on bass.
Serving number three is a song called "Inside The Silence." As seems to be their trademark, Ascending Dawn smacks you with a hard-hitting drum riff at the drop of the stylus...and the guitars jump right in as Marlain fills the rest of your ear canal with her trademark vocals. Ascending Dawn knows who they are and what they want to accomplish; more bands should be so confident.
The clip below is the earlier reviewed "Cannonball." I thought a taste of a relative new comer to the prog scene would whet the appetite just enough...draw the listener in with a firm grip on the listening center of the brain. Ascending Dawn has broken ground in the metal section of the prog garden and planted some strong seedlings. Only time will tell if they take root and mature into healthy growth...but so far the signs are good. Learn more about Ascending Dawn at http://ascendingdawnband.wordpress.com/. You can also check out their FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/ascendingdawnband
OK fellow progheads, I think a hit of metal to the upper cranium was just what the doctor ordered this week. The world of progressive music continues to expand and the garden is producing a healthy crop of new bands, while the standard bearers continue to raise the bar. The soil is rich and the bounty plentiful; my search for all things prog continues to lead me all over the world--and it is always harvest season somewhere. Now seems like a good time to change up the US/UK cycle...until next week...