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Review: Sanguis - Ascension

Label: Bloodred Horizon Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 46:52
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: April 16, 2009
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Readers Rating

Rated 2.5/5 (50%) (2 Votes)

After a four year hiatus, Austria's Sanguis have re-emerged with their latest offering of powerful and melodic modern Black Metal. Upon first listen it is clear who the Austrians pattern themselves after, none other than Norwegian giants Immortal, certainly not a bad blueprint to follow for a young band looking to navigate their way to success in the quickly flooding field that I like to refer to as the New Wave of Black Metal. The production is not raw as though it was recorded in someone's backyard storage shed, but rather is thick and powerful with crunchy razor sharp riffs, accompanied with a heavy discernible bass and thunderous drumming.

Sanguis was formed in 1999 and Ascension is the band's third release since 2002. Along the way they have had to rebound from a couple of line-up changes, but certainly now appear to be hitting their stride. Ascension opens with a short intro which quickly segues into the fast and brutal "I Saw The Fall Of Idols", an interesting song due to the interspersed tempo changes, at one point slowing the pace to a dark, ominous crawl before returning to the hyper fast, aggressive attack with which the song began. The pattern of the remaining songs is pretty much the same; brutally fast guitar riffs and speedy drumming mixed with well executed mid-tempo breaks, rewarding the listener with a healthy dose of variation. The hellish growls of Umbra do strike a similarity to Abbath, but by no means are a rip off; the same holds true for the rest of the band. One key point that I have yet to mention is that Sanguis play their Black Metal savageness without the use of keyboards. However, due to the rhythmic sections being handled adeptly by the guitars the lack of keys is not noticeable. The production as stated is huge and allows for each instrument to stand out clearly, providing a perfect mix. For those who enjoy modern and melodic Black Metal, Ascension offers up a strong list of powerful yet catchy and complex songs which will destroy everything in their path like a raging inferno. As stated all the songs are great, but "I Saw The Fall Of Idols", "Unter Feinden", "Abjuration", "Ad Infinitum", and the cover of Immortal's "Unsilent Storms In The North Abyss" are killers. I look forward to hearing more from these guys in the future.

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