Ascension Ex - The Hand Of The Sinner
Dark Electro, Aggrotech It took four years since the 'Distorted Angels' demo for us to hear new material from Californian act 'Ascension Ex'. In that time, they've signed with Crunch Pod (who very shortly after the announcement closed their doors), and are now seeking another label.

Bit of a shame, really. Let's find out why...


'My Return' is the intentional intro on here, and it inadvertently serves to welcome back the group. It builds up to something which isn't going to be anything short of face-melting, and is perhaps the first ever intro track that I will listen to on regular rotation.

It flows straight into the title track, 'Hand Of The Sinner', which starts off with a hyped up synth line that sounds like one of the backing riffs to the X-Files theme, sped up, and injected with a fist in the face. Samples set the mood very quickly, the drums are insane, and it's just the perfect first track proper for any newly signed band. Ayax's vocals are both distorted and coherent, the mixing and effects cooked to a nice crispy flavour - nothing is unclear or too clear, and for a band thriving on the harsher side of EBM, this has melody in abundance.

'Mundo Subterraneo' (Cool title, although I'm not fully fluent in it's meaning) is broodier than its predecessor, edgier, and more threatening in approach, yet it feels more developed - almost like the band are much happier with this track. There's a certain uncomfortable delight in the track - I don't know if its fear of the unknown, or just my sick musical mind beckoning me to batten the hatches and let this album take me under, but I just need to hear more.

'Obey' and 'Nothing Like Her' vary enough to make this act never sound the same, and the intros and styles encompass more or less all of their peers in the dark electro scene.

The final track, 'City Nights' is full of vice, and could be the black and white 'Sin City' piece that you only really here with Industrial Rock. It stands out as the killer on the EP. Lyrics are half whispered, half performed, it's crystal clear, and the female vocals (I can't credit them as I don't know who it is) enforce the theme of the song, making it very noticeable.

Ascension Ex , when I first heard them made me think 'Shit, how can a band be so good?'.

I'm hearing them 4 years later, and I still don't know, but this is material that I'm hard pressed to fault. I've had it on my iPod with Say Just Words, Grendel, Detroit Diesel, Glis, Seabound, C-Lekktor, and several other of my favourites, and it's never sounded out of place or been skipped.

The labels reading this will likely be looking into this group right now.
Good choice.
4
Brutal Resonance

Ascension Ex - The Hand Of The Sinner

8.5
"Great"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2011 by Crunch Pod
It took four years since the 'Distorted Angels' demo for us to hear new material from Californian act 'Ascension Ex'. In that time, they've signed with Crunch Pod (who very shortly after the announcement closed their doors), and are now seeking another label.

Bit of a shame, really. Let's find out why...


'My Return' is the intentional intro on here, and it inadvertently serves to welcome back the group. It builds up to something which isn't going to be anything short of face-melting, and is perhaps the first ever intro track that I will listen to on regular rotation.

It flows straight into the title track, 'Hand Of The Sinner', which starts off with a hyped up synth line that sounds like one of the backing riffs to the X-Files theme, sped up, and injected with a fist in the face. Samples set the mood very quickly, the drums are insane, and it's just the perfect first track proper for any newly signed band. Ayax's vocals are both distorted and coherent, the mixing and effects cooked to a nice crispy flavour - nothing is unclear or too clear, and for a band thriving on the harsher side of EBM, this has melody in abundance.

'Mundo Subterraneo' (Cool title, although I'm not fully fluent in it's meaning) is broodier than its predecessor, edgier, and more threatening in approach, yet it feels more developed - almost like the band are much happier with this track. There's a certain uncomfortable delight in the track - I don't know if its fear of the unknown, or just my sick musical mind beckoning me to batten the hatches and let this album take me under, but I just need to hear more.

'Obey' and 'Nothing Like Her' vary enough to make this act never sound the same, and the intros and styles encompass more or less all of their peers in the dark electro scene.

The final track, 'City Nights' is full of vice, and could be the black and white 'Sin City' piece that you only really here with Industrial Rock. It stands out as the killer on the EP. Lyrics are half whispered, half performed, it's crystal clear, and the female vocals (I can't credit them as I don't know who it is) enforce the theme of the song, making it very noticeable.

Ascension Ex , when I first heard them made me think 'Shit, how can a band be so good?'.

I'm hearing them 4 years later, and I still don't know, but this is material that I'm hard pressed to fault. I've had it on my iPod with Say Just Words, Grendel, Detroit Diesel, Glis, Seabound, C-Lekktor, and several other of my favourites, and it's never sounded out of place or been skipped.

The labels reading this will likely be looking into this group right now.
Good choice.
Apr 03 2012

Nick Quarm

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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