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[Review] Ascending King

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Ascending King is a one man black metal band from the United States of America. Ascending King’s only member, Ruah, has been in Dryline and featured as a live member of veteran black metal band Elgibbor’s only live performance – at Audiofeed 2017. In the year 2016 the band debuted with a single called Genesis of Desolation on SkyBurnsBlack Records. Since then the band has signed to Nosral Recordings and released its first ep in 2017 entitled Funeral of a Species, let’s take a look at this ep.

The first thing that is obvious is the intention of the music. It is a raw but modern take on black metal, trying to draw from the genres early 90s roots. However, following suit with a lot of modern one man black metal bands of today, the drums are all programmed. This can work for a band, it all depends on what programs, samples and production is made use of, but it can also work against a band. Sadly the ep has drums that come across highly robotic, sometimes drawing my attention away from the actual music. I understand that some of the production quality was not aimed at being totally raw, but I think it could have helped if the drum machine were made to sound more so raw – as it is the guitars, bass and vocals have a natural raw sound but drums do not. The guitars have a thin treble tone, but being black metal that is not necessarily a bad thing. Although at times it can take away distinction. There are some creative riffs, things are congruent in how they sound and progress. Bass has quite a small presence on the ep, which again is sort of a black metal thing. Vocals are the best part of the ep, although recorded with a distorted effect – this actually sounds true to how black metal was done near the start of the second wave. Even through the distortion it is not hard to hear that Ruah has the authentic ability to do vocals properly, even with some dynamic in adding the occasional low amidst the usual black metal highs one would expect.

All in all the ep shows promise for the future of Ascending King, the music is not bad but I am sure that things can improve from here.

I would give this debut ep 45 out of 100.

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