I've heard so much about Ascension recently that I thought I'd pass the word on.

This band's first demo came out last year. But that demo sparked such a buzz that it got pressed on tape, CD, and vinyl, with two associated t-shirts! People were begging for this stuff.

Intel on the band is scarce so far. Evidently it has connections to Katharsis, and its MySpace shows an affinity for (or perhaps kinship with) today's orthodox black metal heavies.

What is clear - see media player below - is that these are veterans who know what they're doing. They've honed melodic, Mayhem-style riffing to a razor-sharp edge. They also have the "agony and ecstasy" feeling characteristic of the best orthodox black metal. We have moved far beyond grim and frostbitten kingdoms.

Ascension has three releases out now - With Burning Tongues, last year's demo; Fire and Faith, a 12" EP out this fall on WTC; and Consolamentum, a full-length out several days ago on WTC. You can surely download them off the Internet if you so desire. What I'll do here is provide links to buy them physically. (I really wish this stuff had digital distribution. At the right price points, that would preempt piracy, I think.)

WTC in Germany is the first stop for all things Ascension. They have the demo in all formats, as well as the EP and new album. In Sweden, Blood Harvest has the EP and the demo on tape and vinyl. Terratur Possessions has the EP and the demo in all formats. The only North American distributor, I believe, that has anything by Ascension right now is Nuclear War Now! - they have the demo on vinyl here.

You can stream two tracks below from the demo, "With Burning Tongues" and "Grey Queen". The player also has a sampling of material from Consolamentum. This is extremely high-quality stuff, up there with the current leaders of the genre. Enjoy - I am sure you will hear much more about Ascension next year.

— Cosmo Lee

. . .

. . .

Thanks to ophis666 and Lurker for the tips.

. . .