Guitar is such a versatile instrument it’s no wonder that it’s become such a staple in music. It’s an instrument that has become an extension of players’ limbs and certain people like Robert Plant and Jimi Hendrix have literally created their own sound, which musicians mimic to this day.
Somewhere along the timeline of music you had virtuosos like Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen pop up and the guitar became the star not the vocals. In a similar vein of Satriani and Malmsteen, Frank Summa aka Perceptions of Fate tosses out any vocal melodies for technical guitar wizardry that aims to impress and be enjoyed at a very visceral level. It’s the type of music that gives aspiring guitarists doubt in their own abilities or inspires them to get better.
The album Ascension starts off with the title track “Ascension.” It takes a little bit of time to get going but once it does get ready for an intense ride. The overall vibe feels like hyperspace metal that you can picture people swinging their hair to. “Across Time and Space “ is where Summa really starts to flex his muscles. The lead work is more than impressive as Summa climbs up and down scales with relative ease. Get ready for intense mayhem after the two- minute mark - wicked fun.
Summa slows things down a bit with “The Dream” which is a desolate sounding piece that reminded me of walking through a never-ending desert. “Done With This” ramps up the BPM and is quite possibly the most intense song on the album. The metal is strong with this one and climbs a number of high peaks. “Reign From The Heavens” kicks you in the throat with distortion and unexpected changes
All the songs lead up to the seven-minute epic “Awaken From All.” The song is heavy in all sorts of ways so buckle up. It’s a comic space ride through a never-ending lead guitar and intense heavy hitting drums. I wouldn't recommend this song to anyone with a heart condition.
My only minor complaint I have is that the recording quality wasn’t always great. There were a number of times I thought the guitar lacked some essential frequencies and the drums sounded deflated.
Overall Ascension is an intense journey into mayhem with the guitar as the pilot. Recommended.
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