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100% Pure Aussie Heavy Metal - 95%

Rileh, July 3rd, 2008

It's always hard to remain critical of a band you love, but I guess it has to be done. 'Ascendence' starts off where the singer/guitarist, 'Lord' Tim's previous band, Dungeon's final album left off, with the intro track "Echoes Of The Past". Opening words on the album, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust", a true goodbye to Dungeon's long and fruitful career. From the intro, a massive buildup to possibly one of the finest openers in Australian metals history, "Reborn". Mind boggling riffing and 'Lord' Tim's immensely powerful vocals are as prevalent as ever. Next up is "Going Down", which opens with a strong melody, that is rather reminiscent of Dungeon's previous works.

It's a all-out sonic blast until the fifth track, "Rain" brings the mood, and tempo, down. Opening with the sounds of thunder and rain, this track is slow and very melodic, but is certainly a contender for track of the album. With an amazing guest solo from Sydney guitarist Chris Brookes, who has previously worked with members from Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Black Sabbath, the track is truly complete. After a couple of more instant-classic metal tracks, Lord blow the shit out of listeners with the obviously Slayer-inspired "Limb From Limb".

Following the sonic blast that is "Limb From Limb", the band speed things up even further with the instrumental track "220", which is exactly that, 2:20 in length and 220BPM. This track features a guest solo by Frombeyond guitarist (and current Lord guitarist, who joined after the album was completed), Mark Furtner. After what is most likely the heaviest track of the album, Lord finalize what has been their finest opus yet with the epic, "Legacy", that explains that even though Dungeon is no more, the spirit that was once with them, and the catch-cry "100% Pure Aussie Heavy Metal" stay with the new band.