|Review: Divine Ascension - Liberator|
Label: ViciSolum Productions
Year released: 2014
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: November 19, 2014
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.46/5 (89.23%) (13 Votes)
This one came out of nowhere. I never heard of this band before their second album Liberator dropped out of my mailbox, and fuck me but if it is not the most impressive slab of Prog/Power I have heard in years. This Aussie outfit is not really doing anything new, but they are doing what they do really, really well.
A fair point of comparison would be Triosphere, as Divine Ascension mix in a similar brand of percussive riffage with powerful feminine vocals. However, they muster a degree of lush orchestration that sets them apart and brings to mind bands like Kamelot or Serenity. These tunes are big, richly layered, and yet still hugely catchy without being simplistic in any way. Every song has unique pleasures and hooks that make them all distinct and all almost equally good.
Vocalist Jennifer Borg is a huge find, as she leads the way with her muscular contralto and first-rate vocal lines. She does not display the kind of range one often expects from proggy bands, but she works what she has like a pro. Her vocals are soulful, powerful, and memorable. Combine her undeniable charisma with intricate songwriting and sometimes propulsive heaviness, you get real winners like the memorable title track, the crushing "My Contender Lies", the haunting "Crystal Tears" and the affecting ballad "Red Sky". Really, there are no weak songs on here, and there is not one single track I skip. This is easily the Prog/Power release to beat for 2014.
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