Review Summary: Death metal at its blandest, Vengeance Ascending is a featureless production with some of the flattest mixing in the genre.
It's rather odd how much of a drop in quality occurred between Diabolic's Subterraneal Magnitude
album and this one. That provided a fairly straightforward but powerful Morbid Angel
-esque romp, with good quality production and entertaining song structures that made it an all round strong effort. By contrast, this album seems to lack any worthwhile features in an extremely sudden loss of songwriting distinction and failed attempts to ape a style more reminiscent of Immolation
The album's instrumentation is fine in a technical sense, but the effectiveness of it has dropped off. The guitars play mostly quite rudimentary riffs, which are rather disappointing, but would be acceptable if it weren't for the excessively leveled mixing that makes it both hard to distinguish and force-less. The bass might as well not exist, given how inaudible it is in the mix, and the drums are produced in a similarly faceless way to the guitars, but are also much too low in the mix for any of the blast beats to have any discernible impact on the intensity of the album, and have an incredibly artificial sound. Thankfully, the vocals are pretty decent, with a good variety of lows, mids and highs, like much of the band's other work. However, that does not save the overall sound from being extremely featureless.
The songs on the album are also poor for the most part, but with some notably superior ones occasionally. Generally speaking, the slower tracks, such as the title track and Cease To Be - 03:33
are a lot more interesting as the riffs seem to have more thought put into them. By contrast, faster tracks like Possess The Strength
and All Evils Inside
are unbelievably stale and dull, with very few interesting riffs and lacking dynamics; occasional highlights on tracks like Majestic Satanic
are few and number and not very impressive in the broader context of the genre. These tracks sadly make up the majority and thus the album is mostly uninteresting the whole way through.
Thankfully, the failings of this release aren't exactly offensively bad, but simultaneously there is absolutely nothing here that will catch anyone besides the die-hard listeners attention. Stick to Diabolic's releases immediately before and after this one, since they're both far superior.