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Nth Ascension - 'In Fine Initium' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e5/6f/87/nth-ascension-in-fine-initium-59-1524146686.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 19, 2018    
 
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It's good to discover a new band with much to offer and listening to this was a most enjoyable experience.

Although a new name for me, I know that Nth Ascension have already come to the attention of other Fireworks scribes in the past. When it comes to approaching a band that is new to my ears I'm always struck with a sense of inquisitiveness, but occasionally also caution.

Nth Ascension is a band that plies its trade within the Neo-Prog genre and this is their second full album. 'In Fine Initium' is a record that ticks pretty much all the boxes when it comes to Prog of the Neo variety, with its majestic, thrilling keyboards, exhilarating guitars and a production befitting of such uplifting music. The seven tracks are fairly evenly split between typically lengthier pieces and the shorter, more direct songs.
Opener 'Kingdom Keys' is awash with some wonderful keyboard work as it fairly charges through its fifteen minute length and that's followed up with the equally impressive 'End Of Days' which climaxes with some lovely fluid guitar playing. 'So, That Was The Apocalypse', a frantic instrumental, comes across all early seventies Deep Purple (mainly due to the Hammond sounds) and demonstrates the fine musicianship from the respective players. 'The Cage', the longest piece on show, really lets the band breathe with some truly uplifting passages.

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The final three tracks carry on a theme that was, I believe, started on their debut album under the title 'Clanaan'; I will, of course, be doing some backtracking shortly and finding out what parts one to three are all about to better understand the story behind them.

Throughout the album vocalist Alan "Spud" Taylor performs some suitably Prog-like vocal gymnastics. A word on the vocals, if anyone remembers The Associates – a Scottish band from the early eighties and in particular vocalist Billy Mackenzie – you will know where I'm coming from in terms of their delivery. Throughout this record the band's influences are liberally sprinkled without being all encompassing and I can hear the likes of Marillion and early Pendragon, but the band have enough of an identity to set themselves apart.

So, if you enjoy your Prog in the classic and traditional sense with its air of drama and storytelling, then this is for you. Overall, it's good to discover a new band with much to offer and listening to this was a most enjoyable experience.

Malcolm Smith

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