NEFARIOUS ASCENDENCY
Nefarious Ascendency (2013) By xDemoNx

The new self-titled album of Nefarious Ascendency is the first contact I had with the band. They come from the United States, they exist in the Black Metal scene of the U.S.A. since 2008 and they consist of five members. “Nefarious Ascendency” is the second full length album of the band, which contains nine tracks of about forty minutes of overall duration. What the listener expects to listen by seeing the simple, black and white cover is of old school, harsh Black Metal. So, musically, the band doesn’t contradict us. Here we will find old school, primitive, harsh Black Metal, with European orientation, but also making some references to the scene of the U.S.A., showing in some parts their influences of Profanatica/Havohej.

The tracks, for most of their duration are fast with beautiful tremolo riffs which bring to my mind the Scandinavian scene, while in almost every track there are nice, slow and atmospheric passages. The riffs that we come across into the album are harsh riffs that as we say “they scratch the guitars”, while many times we will notice the disharmonic melodies that the band uses, as also the slow dark riffs that brought to my mind Havohej. Surely, the riffs are not original or special, but they are interesting and they can maintain the interest of the listener to a good level. For achieving that, the good structure of the tracks also plays an important role. So monotony is avoided, with an exception of a few repetitive and somehow tedious parts mainly in the slow parts.

As it is expected in such releases, the production is harsh, primitive, almost untouched in the studio, something that generally fits to the style of the compositions with the only mistake the mediocre sound of the drums that in many parts they sound somehow empty and flat. On the contrary, the mixture has been worked enough so it has found the balance between the instruments, but that doesn’t happen with the vocals too that they are almost inaudible. The guitars have a plethoric, heavy and bass sound while they deliver the compositions with accuracy and passion, creating perfectly the emotions and the atmosphere. The bass is not clearly audible but it fills the sound well. The drums are well-played, with intensity and power, their lines with the beautiful turnings and the changes, make the compositions more interesting, but their sound, as I mentioned above, is not that it should have been. Finally, the vocals are the biggest problem of the album. Their volume is low so that they are like a distant whisper. The lyrics are written in English but they are not contained in the album, by the titles the listener can understand that they speak of the occult and blasphemy.

I can’t say that my first touch with Nefarious Ascendency impressed me but for sure I wasn’t indifferent about it. Their self-titled album has nice compositions that they are not tedious for the listener and they show that the band has talent and love for Black Metal, but the problem with the vocals is quite annoying and reduces the quality of the album. All those of you who are searching for harsh Black Metal, it worth to give this album a chance. However, you should listen to it before you buy.

1. The Entirety Naught 04:36
2. Subliminal Self Extinction 05:09
3. The Summoning of the Ancients 04:40
4. Nuclear Winter 03:28
5. Insidious Ruin 02:06
6. Ecstatic Depression 06:17
7. The Majestic March of BLasphemy 04:15
8. From the Desolation 03:27
9. In the Blackest of Nights 03:03