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Boomkat Product Review:
This new Southern Lord band feature a line-up that boasts SunnO)))'s Greg Anderson, Gentry Densley of Iceburn and Eagle Twin, plus guest contributors including Soundgarden's Kim Thayill. The makings of this album stem back to the 1990s, when Anderson's band at the time (Engine Kid) toured and released a split album with Iceburn, leading both artists to establish a relationship based on common interests in experimental jazz as well as more song-oriented heavy rock music. All these years on, Ascend strives to manifest those ambitions the two artists shared back then. The resultant material carries that unmistakable low-end gravitas that fills out the darkest bowels of the SunnO))) sound, crunching with an uneven distortion in an exquisitely vicious fashion. The instrumental components of the Ascend sound is a brilliant meeting point of hypermodern grind and classic Sabbath-style creepy chord intervals. There's even some brass laid on 'The Obelisk Of Kolob', producing a kind of infernal fanfare effect. Densley's vocals might prove divisive however, sounding a bit over the top during the otherwise excellent 'Divine', ut the Michael Gira-meets-Tenacious D effect of him growling about "six-inch talons" and the like is by no means without entertainment value.