UK melodic death metal act Ancient Ascendant have done a pretty solid job of capturing the classic Swedish & Norwegian sounds on their new Candlelight Records release Echoes and Cinder. While not necessarily trying to set the world on fire with a groundbreaking style, Ancient Ascendant take some of the best elements from Amon Amarth, Dissection, Opeth, Enslaved, Grave, and Carcass, creating a really good death/black metal album long on inventive riffing and excellent growling vocals.
As for those riffs, "Patterns of Bane", "Crones to the Flames", "Fueling the Flare", and "The Toll of Mourning" contain some splendid, crankin' guitar work from Alex Butler & Nariman Poushin. This is not super technical licks mind you, but thick, crunchy riff-o-rama that's just intricate enough, and the wealth of dual harmony work is quite enjoyable. Butler's inhuman growls are very well done, adding to the overall brutality. The rhythm team of drummer Dave Moulding & bassist Alan Webb pound away mercilessly on the raging "Caged in Tunnels of Time", a textured song that is the most progressive sounding of the bunch, bringing to mind classic Opeth or Enslaved.
Echoes and Cinder is a very solid release, and I can certainly see plenty of extreme metal fans latching on to this one quite easily. Definitely a band to investigate and keep a close eye on.
01_Crones to the Flames
02_Patterns of Bane
04_Fueling the Flare
06_To Break the Binds
07_The Toll of Mourning
08_Caged in Tunnels of Time