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Reverence: The Asthenic Ascension

France's Reverence are an industrial black metal band and according to their press release The Asthenc Ascension is their first proper N. American release. From what I can tell, their first release came out in Europe in 2005 and this album is their fourth overall full length.

Now, when I first saw that the band was classed as industrial black metal , I've gotta admit my hackles went up a bit. I like black metal but industrial metal not so much. In fact, out of all of the industrial metal bands I have heard I really can't think of any that I like off of the top of my head. I've always found the genre to be a bit too mechanical and dull for my liking. However, I was still interested in hearing Reverence as I do know that the band has been getting really good reviews, so I was still willing to give the band a chance. Bands like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord are just some of the comparisons that I had seen in reviews, so needless to say I was excited.

As I had no idea what the word Asthenic meant, I decided to find out as the first thing. Per Google search the word means "Relating to, involving or suffering from asthenia." OK. Now, what is asthenia? Well, Google says that means "Abnormal physical weakness or lack of energy." Allright. Seeing as the music is far from lacking energy or being weak I am going to assume that this must be something to do with the lyrics of the album-I have no idea as my promo copy didn't come with lyrics.

Music-wise Reverence's self-description of industrial black metal is fairly apt, however the emphasis is on the black metal side of things, rather than the industrial. Most of the songs seethe with a brimming darkness, rather than a cold and mechanical din. At times the band is reminiscent of other French acts such as Deathspell Omega, but by and large they have their own sound. This is good as it shows the band aren't just trying to copy the more popular French BM bands out there.

The problem is however, that while the band does have a fairly unique sound, much of the album just doesn't have that extra oomph to make this a stellar record. Yes, many of the songs are downright awesome, but so much of the album I found just plain old uninteresting despite the fact the band is trying to push the boundaries with their sound. Obviously I'm in the minority with this opinion with all of the lavish praise spilled upon the band so check it out for yourself. As for me, I personally feel the Asthenic Ascension is an alright album by a band with a lot of potential.

Track Listing
1. Earth
2. Darwin's Black Hall
3. The Descent
4. Psalm IV
5. Ghost of Dust
6. Cold Room
7. Genesis of Everything
8. Those who Believed
9. The Asthenic Ascension

Added: October 24th 2012
Reviewer: Curtis Dewar
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2111
Language: english

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