Reverence- The Asthenic Ascension

Band: Reverence
Album: The Asthenic Ascension
Release date: April 2012
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Label: Candlelight Records

‘The Asthenic Ascension’ is the fourth album from the French black metal band Reverence.

The symphonic intro to opening track ‘Earth’ reminds me of ‘Midian’ -era Cradle of Filth with hints of early Emperor. ‘Darwin’s Black Hall’ however, is an altogether different beast. Gone are the symphonic melodies and in their place come the harsh, monotone guitar riffs and Vesania-esque vocals.

‘The Descent’ features features a very short, oddly cheerful sounding guitar solo which seems somewhat out of place in what is otherwise a very standard black metal song. The symphonic melodies seem to be making a comeback on here as well. The Gothic horror movie-esque samples in ‘Psalm IV’ create an eerie atmosphere which is maintained by the drone-like music and ill-fitting screams of distress in the background. As if that wasn’t enough, they decided to add a melodic guitar solo which is more befitting for a thrash metal band. Then it’s back to the cries of terror and distress. Strange, very strange indeed…

Similar things can be said about ‘Ghost of Dust’, which, aside from the oddly placed melodic guitar solo, stands out for all the wrong reasons mostly notably due to the rather annoying clear vocals towards the end of the track. Things don’t improve towards the latter part of the album where the sound keeps shifting from progressive guitar riffs, thrash-metal drum sounds, symphonic melodies and hints of death metal to monotone, raw black metal.

The only notable exceptions are the atmospheric instrumental ‘Genesis of Everything’ and the eerie, droning title track which are the only highlights of the album.

2.5/5- confusing at best and downright bizarre at worst

Iza Raittila

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2 Responses to “Reverence- The Asthenic Ascension”

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