Flaws of Elation

Yet another review of a release that’s a little out of my league of expertise, Venice, Italy’s Ashent play a slightly thrashy form of progressive metal, reminding me (and my ignorance of the genre) of a heavier Dream Theater or Symphony X, though I wouldn’t tag them as clones, but take that for what you will considering my lack of knowledge of prog metal.

Ashent seem to do what they do well, with the expected top-notch musicianship, stop on a dime time changes, and plenty of fluctuation and balance between the heavy and the more melodic and beautiful guitar and key passages. Vocalist Steve Braun possesses one hell of a set of skillful pipes, though is pretty typical of the genre from my experiences, and reminds me a little of Dream Theater’s James LaBrie. Ashent do not branch out their songs the way Dream Theater would, keeping them at a compact four-five minutes, which is plenty for them to play around with the ups and downs. The band uses some backing death growl vocals in “Mysteric”, “Anaemic Ardency” and the album closer “Eden”, which in particular displays heavily the Dream Theater influence when that band is at it’s heavier moments. For the faster, thrashier side of things, look no further than “Awakened’s Transition” and “Illusory”. “A Puzzled Sentiment” is an instrumental that really shows off the bands skill, with plenty of phenomenal solos and leads from Cristiano Bergamo and Onofrio Falanga, and of course reserved spots for bassist Gianpaolo Galanga and keyboardist Paolo Torresani to show some flash as well.

All in all, this isn’t something I can really get into, as high-end vocals tend to grate on me after three-four songs, sending me looking for something heavier. Though I can imagine them going over pretty well in the prog metal circles, but once again, what do I know? Eh, whatever, pass me that new Impaled or Hyades album and I’ll be just fine.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
November 12th, 2007


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