Answers is the sophomore release from American progressive metal band Ascension Theory. Comprised of former Aztec Jade members Leon Ozug (vocals, guitars, bass) & Tim Becker (keyboards), along with drummer Chad Lenig, Ascension Theory have expanded on the sounds from their debut Regeneration with this release. The band are very adept at symphonic, crunchy progressive metal, with plenty of melody and flashy instrumental passages, so if you like bands like Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, Queensryche, Symphony X, and of course Aztec Jade, this album will be right up your alley.
Guest female vocals spice up "The Way of Death", a crunchy gothic/prog-metal thumper, "Passion of My Heart" is a riff monster with some serious beef on the guitar end and plenty of keyboards, "Lockstep" is a dramatic and melodic rocker, and the moody and atmospheric "Perfect Plan" features some dark keyboard textures and catchy vocals. However, the most impressive song has to be "Saturn's Reign", a heavy piece with tight rhythms, fat guitar chords, and soaring vocals from Ozug. "End Game" has some nimble keyboard lines and beefy guitar work, and the closing 7-minute title track is a real prog-metal gem, with Ozug's impressive guitar work leading the charge. There's plenty of melodic and tasty unison guitar and keyboard solos on this one for those who like to hear some chops in their prog.
In a time when there are so many progressive metal bands flooding the market, it's great when some can rise above the crop with some enjoyable and compelling music. Ascension Theory have done that here with Answers, so if you are a fan of the genre seek this Nightmare Records release out.
1. Passion of My Heart
3. Perfect Plan
4. Saturn's Reign
5. To Be Content
6. The Way of Death
8. End Game