Sometimes, you just need an adrenaline-fueled album of progressive metal goodness. I listen to many different genres, but there’s just something about putting on a solid album of kinetic riffage. Despite the large volume of prog metal bands, it still feels different than anything else. Divine Ascension has been this for me over the last month, and their new album “The Uncovering” officially releases on November 16th.
Divine Ascension hails from Melbourne, Australia. The band consists of Jennifer Borg on vocals, Karl “Inski” Szulik on guitars, Jason Meracis on bass, and Luke Wenczel on drums. These musicians are an absolute machine together, offering the fresh energy that I seem to find in Australian progressive metal in particular. Tom Englund of Evergrey does offer guest vocals on one track, as well.
Their musical style is simply stated: They offer kickass prog metal with lots of melody. I would put them more on the Symphony X side of the genre as their guitars are dark and savage, offering a surging and volatile tone to the album. The band never sacrifices melody, staying true to their name with celestial and soaring melodies that always complete the contrast with intensity and power. Oh, and there are tons of blast beats which are beastly and awesome. So, if you are looking for comparisons, I suppose a combination of Symphony X with Evergrey will do, maybe with a side of Epica. Really, though, they have their own sound.
One thing that stands out about this album is the pure heart that has gone into it. You can tell that the band loves what they are doing, and literally every song has a certain oomph and explosiveness that calls the power metal subgenre to mind. This album has heart and soul to it, and that plays out on the frets and in the concise melodies. Jennifer’s voice is huge and commanding, too, adding almost a frighteningly gripping melodic sense to every single song. Jens Bogren mixed the album, and his keen ear for combining fiery moments is definitely appreciated and heard throughout this album.
The album flows wonderfully and consistently. Every track plays a part and every song is well composed. I do have a few favorites, though. “Evermore” is a wonderful single with lots of replayability. “Prisoner” is an immense song that blows me away every time. Not only is the chorus fantastic, but the way the central riff mixes with the intense melody really feels perfect. “Pursuit of Desire” features Tom Englund of Evergrey, and they saved one of the best choruses for this special collaboration. It’s catchy as hell, and I love it.
The albums ends on a very strong note. “Beyond the Line” might be my favorite on the album. It is forceful, surging forward with technicality and beauty. “One Step from Here” is a monster song with a glorious second half. The blast beats are specifically what I love about this one. “Vultures”, instead of being the “epic” send off that you might expect, is rather a slow burning abstraction that feels absolutely amazing. I get some Delain vibes off of it, actually. It’s the perfect way to end this album.
Divine Ascension has a winner on their bands here. “The Uncovering” is catchy, heavy, and energetic. It’s a robust album full of heart and power, and it’s just what I needed right now. If you love high energy progressive metal, you need look no further.