Germany’s Ascension sit at the intersection of two visions of black metal. Their self-presentation draws heavily on the theistic Satanism of so-called “orthodox” black metal bands like Deathspell Omega and Aosoth; the members pen complex, extremely serious odes to Lucifer behind veils of anonymity. Like Deathspell and their ilk, Ascension make liberal use of dissonant riffs, but not to the same abusive effect. Indeed, there’s something kind of populist about The Dead Of The World, a sophomore LP that comes almost five years after 2010’s Consolamentum. This time around, Ascension channel their seething darkness into sweeping anthems and amplify it with a hi-fi production. Standout album closer “Mortui Mundi” concludes with a fist-pumping march that summons all the pomp of big-name package tour staples like Behemoth and Watain, if only they came from a little further down the left-hand path. This is epic, blockbuster-scale evil. Listen below.
The Dead Of The World is out 1/13 via Season Of Mist.