Review Summary: Industrialist black metal combined with an enlightening dark presence giving listeners what they need.
If you hadn’t already heard of these guys before, take into consideration of the fact that these guys have had a couple of splits in their time and although debuting with their first full length a while ago they are not completely unheard of. Sharing recordings with the likes of Blut Aus Nord it’s easy to see where that commanding atmosphere comes from; both bands for the most part know how to control an industrialist backed atmosphere providing a distinct energy for the listener, but differences emerge – mainly in a pattern of riffs and shorter track lengths. The Asthenic Ascension
is a ride, mid paced and with its shares of ups and downs. If the comparison with Blut Aus Nord can be continued; think simply that Reverence’s The Asthenic Ascension
is a more simplistic accessible version of the two bands, but that takes little away from this highly enjoyable release. Hailing from France, Reverence manages to pull off a successful black metal record and fly under the radar simultaneously with The Asthenic Ascension
At times this titan of a record comes off a little abstract. Not in the way that listeners are left scratching their heads but more-or-less in a manner that creates thought, bending the atmosphere around the riffs and growls forcing its way onto the listeners’ subconscious. Tracks like ‘The Descent’ and ‘Psalm IV’ bounce off each other but are able to morph together themes. Relying on a strong riff structure and typical black metal patterns leaves the tracks restricted but this is not unwelcome. Reverence seems to realise that not every record produced these days’ needs to be completely minimalistic focusing on mind-bending patterns and even stranger themes. Rather a somewhat simpler approach leaves listeners with a release that is a) accessible without being overly predictable and b) interesting and sinister enough to not be piled into the ‘mainstream’ category. For reverence this combination displays a steady control of musicianship and creative ideas.
Overall, The Asthenic Ascension
manages to be a fine release, without being overbearing. Hell, there’s even a solo or two worth mentioning (like the lead section found in ‘Ghost of Dust’) but in not being a completely a mind-blowing or revolutionary release Reverence ensure that The Asthenic Ascension
can be taken without a grain of salt. The album itself is far from mediocre, but sits well within the confines of the genre. With a dark presence lightened by the occasional clean vocal section and melodic lead Reverence’s 2012 release makes for a quality listen that may be overshadowed by better known groups – regardless this release can stand on its own two feet by focusing on roughly simpler ideas than those with similarities to the group. Give this record a listen, you won’t be blown away but there is indeed enough material here to promote the band’s virtuosity.