Ascended
Temple of Dark Offerings EP

This four-track EP comes by way of the apparently now defunct Enucleation Records (the cassette was released on Detest Records), and yes, it’s from 2009. The cover, which brings to mind the artwork for Morbid Angel’s Domination, depicts an adorned and rather slimy-looking entrance to a temple, what one can only assume to be the Temple of Dark Offerings. It marks my first listening experience with Ascended, a Finnish band that’s been around since 2006. They do a fairly stand-up job of evoking old school death metal mayhem, and the EP isn’t without its more doomy splashes.

Opener “Temple of Dark Offerings” starts things off with positively (I guess negatively would be more appropriate) evil-sounding riffs and a leaden growl from Tommi Sookari, and the whole thing is soaked in groove. “Mesmerizing Stench” continues much in the same fashion with a morbidly slow tempo and vibe, although at one point toward the five-minute mark a spot reminiscent of a stoned Slayer comes into play. Three-fourths of the way into the album, “Wedlock of Lust” keeps the moss-covered groove rolling ever so slowly. The subtle use of melody adds a slightly lighter note to the heaviness that is on display here, but in no way does it detract from it. Closer “Ascension (Towards Godless Immortality)” gets the head banging initially and the ritualistic blood flowing later on.

The simultaneously nice and boring thing about Temple of Dark Offerings is its consistency. The listener knows essentially what to expect from the next track based on the previous one, so in this way Ascended is good at sticking to a theme and style. On the same token, they don’t stray much from their death/doom formula so the songs have a tendency to stick together like sweaty thighs. Regardless, there is still much that is good about Ascended’s offering and it would be worthwhile for fans of sludgy, heavy death metal to check out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
February 3rd, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    “doomy splashes” “moss-covered groove” “ritualistic blood” “stick together like sweaty thighs” – lots of great language in here, makes for a fun read.


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