They might be a fairly new band, but coming into such a saturated and rock heavy music world certainly hasn’t dampened the spirits – or the voices – of London based prog/alt metal quartet Ascending Dawn and their debut album Coalesce makes quite the first impression.
Opening numbers “All In Now” and particularly stand-out track number 3 “Cannonball” make sure listeners pick up on the almost undeniable air of Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia surrounding AD’s front-woman Marlain Angelides from the off – both have strong voices, fraught with power and emotion, but make no mistake, they are also entirely different people who just happen to share a career path.
While Marlain rightly takes centre stage across the 9 tracks – 10 if you include the radio edit of “Cannonball” – featured on the collection – her band-mates Jen Fletcher, Mark Weatherley and Owen Rees also shine thanks to their tight musicianship and ability to create a great ambience with their instruments.
The album is also helped greatly by impressive production, with the mixing and mastering done Jochem Jacobs, formerly of Textures. His efforts on Coalesce allow for each track to connect with the next, even when lyrically or musically they really shouldn’t, and it’s this that ultimately prevents the album from being a stop-start ‘what the hell is going on’ type of record.
Despite the bands’ many talents, which they showcase as best they can on the album, come the half-way point, and most notably following “Opposites”, each track does tend to start sounding like the last as the group appear to have stuck to what they know and do best. It might work on a debut album but should they be fortunate enough to return to the studio and record a second, a bit of variety certainly wouldn’t go amiss. Nevertheless, for a first effort, it’s a strong and well-polished one, sure to impress those music fans who like their tracks to be large, considerably loud and rather in your face.
Coalesce is available now.