Invictus Productions / Dark Descent Records.
Review by Trevor Proctor.
Ascended Dead is a band I’ve followed since reviewing their excellent tape, ‘The Advent’ back in May 2015, impressed by the band I also got their ‘Arcane Malevolence’ 7” EP on the back of how good ‘The Advent’ is. Ascended Dead is based in San Diego, California and formed in 2011 to play dark and chaotic Death Metal. The band consists of four members, three of which have been in the band since its inception, and all of which have significant experience in other bands within the underground.
Drummer, CK, has played in bands such as VoidCeremony in the past and currently plays drums for Funebraum, Necrosic and Ghoulgotha. Guitarist, IL, also has significant experience and currently plays for Archaic Mortuary, Seraphic Disgust and also plays drums for Ethereous. Guitarist and vocalist, JR, currently plays for Invocation War and has previously played for VoidCeremony and Decay. The most recent addition to the Ascended Dead line-up is bassist KS who joined this year and currently plays for many bands including Weregoat, Ritual Necromancy and Terror Oath – he also is the current live drummer for New Zealand’s underground heavyweights, Vassafor. Whilst the pedigree and experience of its members is highly significant Ascended Dead is also keen for the band to stand on its own merits and musical ability, a fact confirmed by vocalist/guitarist JR when he stated, “everything we've attained was built from the ground up, and we’d like to maintain as much of a stand-alone legacy as we can.”
Abhorrent Manifestation is set for release on the 17th of March on digital formats and CD with Dark Descent Records handling the North American release and Invictus Productions releasing it in Europe. The album features a total of ten tracks spanning thirty minutes and includes six new tracks along with re-worked versions of three tracks from ‘The Advent’ (The Promised Time, Perdition and Dawn of Armageddon) along with a newer version of ‘Ensnared for Eternity’ from the Arcane Malevolence EP. Abhorrent Manifestation was recorded in spring 2016 at Trench Studios in Corona, California.
Ascended Dead describe their music as “Visceral, psychotic Death Metal, without limitations...” and you’d easily agree with them, their music is Death Metal with elements of early bestiality, summed up by the press release that stated, “See, a lot of bands these days wish so bad they were part of the same early extreme metal wave that swept the plate clean in the late '80s, but end up only second-guessing how all their idols thought. But Ascended Dead are a rare case of a band who just go for it and whose DNA is naturally carrying that FTW element - that simple idea of not waiting, an instinct to destroy everything in sight.”
The three tracks originally featured on ‘The Advent’ have always sounded great but these newer versions are obviously better produced and have less of a demo feel to them but having said that they haven’t lost any of their original potency and the new tracks on Abhorrent Manifestation are easily the best tracks they’ve written to date. The only let up across the album’s duration is the acoustic instrumental, ‘Dormant Souls’ that shows immense talent and a willingness to experiment but aside from this Abhorrent Manifestation is quite a violent and intense listen.
Ascended Dead really have captured the essence of early primitive bestiality that many try and fail to capture, and they have done so without sounding like old school clones – genuine, straight-up Death Metal with a vicious streak. This album perfectly showcases the progression of this band from their first raw demo to full length album, there’s no doubting the talent involved and also the high standard of music within Abhorrent Manifestation. Just give ‘Subconscious Barbarity’ and 'Dawn of Armageddon' a listen below and you’ll see what I mean, and the good news is there’s a full album’s worth of tracks as good as these to get your teeth into on Abhorrent Manifestation.With a debut album as strong as this and a new, strengthened line-up the future is looking very positive for Ascended Dead.
A fantastic debut album from a band worthy of your support. 8/10.
01 - The Promised Time
02 - Blood Thirst
03 - Perdition
04 - Ensnared for Eternity
05 - Dormant Souls
06 - Subconscious Barbarity
07 - Fissure of Chaos
08 - Dawn of Armageddon
09 - Last Ritual
10 - Inexorable Death.