Reverence - The Asthenic Ascencion
Industrial Black Metal
9 songs (52:43)
Release year: 2012
Reverence, Candlelight
Reviewed by Charles
I must confess that I have missed Reverence up to this point, my colleague Goat having handling their reviews here in the past. Like the output of a lot of other French bands, this is a distinctly leftfield perspective on black metal, built around industrial elements and abstract riffing. The most obvious influence, given that last sentence, is scene giants Blut Aus Nord- with whom this band have collaborated with in the past. To some degree, any operating in this particular scene is likely to do so in their shadow, but Reverence actually have an eclectic and sometimes even light-hearted approach to songwriting that makes them somewhat distinctive.

So, The Asthenic Ascencion flits expertly between light and shade. Listen to The Descent, for example- a cunning and unpredictable track, extending to seven minutes. It opens with a grimly slow industrial-black groove, over which drifts a faded, alt. rock lead solo- almost like Aborym intermingling with Queens of the Stone Age. Ghosts of Dust begins as a creepy Blut Aus Nord-referencing churn but culminates with theatrical male bellowing, as if imported from an off-duty chorus line, before segueing another breezy rock lead solo. Cold Room’s riffing is incongruously funky.

Ultimately, this is still black metal and hence of the dark. But this rampant theatricality permeates the more sinister parts as well, like the tuneless guitar lines and overdubbed screaming on Psalm IV, or the swooping harmonies that constitute the climax to Darwin’s Black Hall. The coup de grace in this regard is the superb closing title track. At first, it trudges dolorously through abstract shapes and drunken lead guitar shapes heavily influenced by The Work Which Transforms God, but executed with a pleasing sense of groove. Then, enter some supremely well-executed choral vocals, piling on the creepy black metal ambiance with extravagance and flair. Lovely. This is a really good album, exploring ground which may have been pioneered by others but which Reverence turn into their own vision.

Killing Songs :
The Asthenic Ascencion, Darwin's Black Hall, Ghosts of Dust
Charles quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Reverence that we have reviewed:
Reverence - Inactive Theocracy reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Reverence - Chamber Of Divine Elaboration reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
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