Divine Ascension - As the Truth Appears
Nightmare Records
Symphonic Power Metal
10 songs (49:40)
Release year: 2011
Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Ah, female vocals. Heaven or hell, pure shit or pure genius, intriguing or horribly out of place. Sweet, high-pitched or operatic vocals, do they belong in metal, a genre widely dominated by silverback males? Well, speaking for myself, ladies tend to get dismissed. Not because they suck at singing, but because their attitude dosn´t fit such a hard-hitting genre. However, sweet, seducing vocals that contrasts especially gothic, dark or symphonically oriented melodic metal tend to be pretty damn great if done right. Trail of Tears for instance, pulls of the so called «beauty and the beast»-roles with clinical perfection, Nightwish, well earlier Nightwish speaks for itself. Xandria, Epica, the list goes on, some bands come through and deliver quality metal no matter how you look at it.

Enter Divine Ascension, another band clad in colors of melodic sadness, beauties and beasts. Well to be honest, there really isn´t much beastly vocals here, as the guy who handles the vocals sounds softer than his beauty. He doesn´t really appear on too many songs with the exception of Answers and some other tracks. In other words this is female fronted for the most part, led by Jennifer Borg. Her voice is powerful yet tender, and fits quite nicely with the majestic symphonics layered on every song with Kamelotian carefulness.

This is clearly drawing inspiration from bigger names within the symphonic, melodic power metal genre. Kamelot, Edenbridge, Nightwish, Epica. Although catchy, melodic and mostly upbeat, it gets dark as misery on songs like Garden of Evil and Another Battlefield. However much I like dark and gloomy, it´s the faster tracks that by far sounds best. As the Truth Appears kicks of with solid, memorable and well written songs like Answer, Visionary and Vision Divine.

The quality varies a bit, as the abovementioned songs sound great, there are some real downers here that pluck the skip-nerve, and overall, unfortunately, this is considerably weaker than it is strong. However, there are heaps of potential here, some of which can be heard in the closing moments of the record. Unscathed is undeniably the best song here, and if Divine Ascension can keep their focus on song-writing I predict some winners in the future. Borg sounds great, the symphonic elements are mostly awesome, but the core needs to be worked out. Riffs, drums, bass.

Anyway, other, less picky power metal fans may appreciate this more than I did. So it´s definitely worth checking out.

Killing Songs :
Thomas quoted 75 / 100
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