|Review: Stygian Ascent - Memories|
Year released: 2013
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: June 24, 2013
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Debut EP for unsigned Swedish band Stygian Ascent. Being an avowed Melodic Death band from Sweden carries quite a burden on it already, as the scene there played itself out almost a decade ago, but life returns to scorched earth. Despite the expected influences, this disc is an energetic and engaging slab of ambitious melodeath.
The major flavor here is obviously Dark Tranquility, with the headbanging rhythms and keyboard melodies, but this is following DT at their peak, not aping their low points. Opener "The Darkest Part of Me" is more aggressive and less melodic, but when "Northern Light" kicks in it is DT all the way. Stygian Ascent keep the metal front and center with heavy guitars and solid riffs, using the keys in ways that add to, rather than detract from the sound. The vocals are harsh, but with a lot of energy and verve that keeps them from sounding one-dimensional. The title track opens with some clean vocals that are actually pretty good, and those are sprinkled throughout the impressive, 11+ minute track. Overall this is a really strong release, and I will definitely be looking for more from this band. Classic-sounding melodeath with ambition and an original flair.
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