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Ascendency > Birth of an Eternal Empire > Reviews > Zerberus
Ascendency - Birth of an Eternal Empire

Waging a war on boring metal - 90%

Zerberus, June 23rd, 2021

From the hand that has brought us countless memorable riffs in the guise of Hyperdontia, Taphos, Realm of Chaos, Sort Sind, Had, Sulphurous and Night Fever comes Ascendency's Birth of an Eternal Empire. The amount of quality music Mathias Friborg, joined here by Simon Larsen of Phrenelith and Ugur Yldirim of Septage and Taphos, can put out is astounding. Though across his many many bands you could argue some of them sound similar, Ascendency is special in its own right. It's a simple setup, but an effective one, and what more could you ask.

The guitar form a harsh undercurrent with fuzzy distortion so thick you'd need the sharpest blade to cut it, provided then by another guitar breaching the fog with a top layer of ethereal melody. The eternal empire that the Danish trio are birthing is bound to this foundation but occassionally break through with the two guitarists playing against each other in a hurricane of genius. Though the tracks are generally longer than most in the genre, the atmosphere and interplay between the three musicians is so on point that the songwriting never grows stale.

Ascendency recalls bands influential to the sound of war metal, but the execution and deft use of melody to offset the crushing groundwork sets them apart from the common rabble. With echoing raspy vocals and busy drumwork, it is also quite a feat that every layer - even the bass - is clearly audible. It will be interesting to see if the flame can be kept burning at the same intensity for an entire album when/if that time comes, but judging from the same combined legacy of the people involved I'd say there's a good chance this empire will indeed be eternal.