Divine Ascension - As The Truth Appears Review
by Matt Hensch
Trying to place Divine Ascension's transcendental pedigree in a jar is quite the task. While "As the Truth Appears" sticks highly to the norms of progressive/power metal with an abundant supply of keyboards and female vocals, there remains a clear essence of a pristine elegancy that illuminates everything this band touches. Divine Ascension is like Nightwish or Magica, but the group's songwriting skills and instrumental hooks are much more dazzling and sophisticated, and it really isn't a bluff to say "As the Truth Appears" peaks beyond the finest works of these influential bands and their associated acts. Divine Ascension represents what every faction of this niche should sound like; it's melodic, heavy, emotive, atmospheric, powerful, and certainly divine.
Divine Ascension stands at a typical junction uniting several ideologies of progressive metal with many characteristics found in power metal, using female vocals (courtesy of Jennifer Borg) and a chromatic display of keyboards usually soaring above the sky. What makes Divine Ascension and "As The Truth Appears" so vivid and likeable is the stellar formula of upbeat, pounding numbers that gush powerful riffs and energetic performances running on all cylinders. Borg's vocals are absolutely world-class, and the guitarists stay wonderfully precise through chopping, complicated rhythms and some electrifying lead work which often goes undetected in this sub-category of progressive/power metal. The band's measures relate to a melodic, guitar-driven theme that circulates around a number of memorable choruses and lead sections rather than over-saturating the equation with excessive, bombastic keyboards or loosely-pasted bridges, and it certainly shows that Divine Ascension has the craft nailed right in the bulls eye.
Variations between tracks often stay mild, but the amount of passion and power lifts each song beyond the clouds, each shining in its own source of light. "Visionary" and "In my Mind" ignite like a pool of gas and a pyromaniac handling a book of matches, both utilizing addictive riffing, glorious vocals, wonderful keys, and a spicy tweak of caffeinated zest. Pure energy! "Guided by Osiris" shows a glimpse of Divine Ascension upgrading the fundamentals of their formula with an additional eclipse of added bridges and sections used to transition the anthem in a much more dynamic path; lots of excellent guitar work and layered instrumentation here, and Borg sounds phenomenal throughout. "Another Battlefield" hobbles on in a mid-paced, atmosphere-heavy sphere that stays stylish and celestial despite its minor shifts in tempo. Overall, I can't deny the magnificence of "As the Truth Appears."
Floored, amazed, shocked...you name it, that's how I felt when I experienced "As the Truth Appears" for the first time; it stands as a monumental achievement of all sorts, a true rarity amongst the seas, and a sapphire balanced with the perfect amount of professionalism and guile. If there's one point I want to drive home, it's that few bands of this nature can look so mythic and sanguine on command, but Divine Ascension thrives through strong atmospheres and consistent performances on the instrumental end that never erode, even at times mastering clichιs and musical stereotypes with unmatchable grace. This one is a surprising trophy, and one that should not be avoided if the aforementioned review heightened your curiosity.
Divine Ascension - As The Truth Appears
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