The Scottish heavy metal scene is well known for being heavy as hell – bringing the world some of the finest death metal and grindcore bands around. From Cerebral Bore to Achren the musical calibre from Scottish musicians is superb, and it only seems fitting to introduce who break free of this typical scene and go for a more traditional approach to metal. Presenting Ascension, a melodic power metal band from Aberdeen who has so much flare and style in their music, they give the likes of Power Quest, Freedom Call and Blind Guardian a run for their money. By combining lightning fast guitar riffs, powerful melodies and superb, sing along chorus’s, Ascension have created one of the finest power metal albums of the past ten years with Far Beyond the Stars, and hopefully we will see the eventual rise to power of this Scottish five piece within the next few years!
Ascension are a band who are putting the British heavy metal scene on the map, and it’s songs such as ‘Blackthorn’, ‘Moongate’ and ‘Orb of the Moons’ that really show just how amazing British musicians are. From the moment the album kicks in, every instrument has it’s time to shown, and whether it be the powerful dual guitar lines, or Ricki Carnies’ phenomenal falsetto voice. Ascension flies the flag, not only for power metal musicians. But all metal musicians, showing that if you have a pure talent for something, you should go out and use it, and that’s what Far Beyond the Stars is jammed full of, brilliant musical talent.
Every track on Far Beyond the Stars is a potential single, purely because each song has the wow factor needed to hook a listener. Every song has an extremely catchy chorus that will have you singing along like the characters of Brave Heart on a monster energy drink in no time. Songs like ‘Somewhere Back In Time’, ‘Reflected Life’ and ‘Heavenly’ will sound heavenly when played live and as soon as they come pouring out of the PA – one thing is for sure, the crowd is going to go mental!
There are some absolutely mind blowing progressive and acoustic elements on this album too, giving Far Beyond the Stars an extra dimension to this already mind blowing album. Not only showing the bands diversity, but also the bands song writing skills, Ascension have thought outside the box with this release, and through tracks like the beautiful power ballad that is ‘The Silver Tides’ and the 10 minute epic ‘The Avatar’, show just why they are one of the best UK based metal bands….. Hell to that in fact, one of the world’s best metal bands.
If you are a fan of power metal, you will absolutely be blown away by Far Beyond the Stars. If you call yourself a metal fan, you will also be blown away by Far Beyond the Stars. It’s an album that appeals to everyone. People say that European power metal rocks…… The fact is that Scottish power metal doesn’t just rock…….. It kills! [9/10]