Ascendia - The Lion and the Jester
Symphonic Progressive Metal
12 songs (58:00)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Joel
Archive review
The first dose of Ascendia I had given to MetalReviews was in the form of my live review, when they opened up for Circus Maximus. Deservingly so, they should stand next to some of the heavyweights of their genre. What genre? Symphonic, Progressive, Melodic, and the ability to capture the listener(ME) for nearly an hour long. These Canadian's are unsigned, but with The Lion and the Jester released in 2015, is one hell of a debut.

At The End Of It All, you can watch HERE, and get a good idea of what this band has to offer. Remember Me, is emotive, powerful and melodic all at the same time. The layered strings behind the guitars and drums, mixed with the dynamic range of Nick Sakal(his voice is original, and you will either love or hate it, but to me it's one of the best new vocals I have discovered in years!), really makes this song great. The whole disc is similar with its symphonic and progressive feel, without ever being too grandiose in a power metal sense, or to show-offy in a progressive way. Other great songs(as they all have something to offer), include the haunting Last Forever, that starts softly with piano and Sakal's vocals, and turns into a melodic yet powerful song with a lot of emotion. The groove of No More Tales really will get you headbanging, along with the precision drumming of Billy Lov, and the consistent and technical riffing and soloing of his brother Jon. Faded Away, is a power melodic song, with a slower to mid pace. It has a nice breakdown in the middle of song that breaks up the song and adds a dynamic to keep the song from becoming monotonous. On a softer note the band's The Song That You Deserved, is truly a beautiful song, with the piano and strings. Definitely not an album filler, because it delivers the same kind of power Remember Me does. A lot of that can be contributed to the fact that Sakal is the true definition of a singer, able to generate emotion, and power even in the softest moments. The title track is next, and you can check it out HERE. The final song Starlit Eyes which is half slower, and have mid paced, with a very good lead guitar presence.

IF this was released this year, this would easily be a contender of Album of the Month, even the Year. It is difficult to explain this band to anyone, but as I said, power, emotion, melody, are all things that make Ascendia who they are. I can easily say they sound like no one else, and are unique to both power and progressive metal genres. Recommended to power and progressive metal fans, and those with open minds!
Killing Songs :
At The End Of It All, Remember Me, Last Forever, Faded Away
Joel quoted 88 / 100
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