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Beautiful - 95%

Thonolan, April 19th, 2007

“Ascension” is the second album from When Day Descends, the incarnation of the musical ideas of Dave Caswell. Far from the progressive rock/metal style of the debut album, “Ascension” is an instrumental ambient release with minimalist sound: just an acoustic guitar and some orchestrations. Sometimes nothing else is needed in order to create a wonderful album.

“Ascension” could be described as the successful combination of the atmosphere from the debut album “Transcend” with the sound and musical structures from bands like Dargaard. It’s a 38 minutes track; a perfect soundtrack to listen in the dark with a candle or a small fire. The overall mood is very sad and melancholic, pretty much in the vein of the acoustic passages of Opeth, and the orchestration adds a slight epic feel without ruining the eerie atmosphere. It’s worth mentioning the complex songwriting, which avoids the album to fall into monotony.

Overall, “Ascension” is a magnificient album for fans of ambient music, as well as lovers of instrumental soundscapes and dark atmospheres. Those who enjoy the atmospheric side of melancholic bands like Opeth or Riverside should also appreciate this album