Ancient Ascendant have been steadily building their name over the last few years and have been around in one guise or other for at least a decade, despite not releasing their debut until 2011. This year sees them truly take flight and Echoes And Cinder is a prime example of a band taking their sweet time to perfect their sound before unleashing it.
Their death metal is blackened around the edges and has much in common with genre leaders Amon Amarth, particularly in Alex Butler’s vocal delivery. Crones To The Flames is a spryly paced, rollicking first tune and while the momentum continues to be ramped ever upward throughout the record, Ancient Ascendant do much to show that they aren’t completely about speed. The light instrumental Embers is a lovely sidestep that leads deftly into the fist-pumping melody of To Break The Binds.
Guitars soar and wail in all the right places with solos ringing over the embattled landscapes of The Toll Of Morning with confidence and command. Echoes… should make Ancient Ascendant huge and they deserve it 10-fold.