Lord - Ascendence 4.5/5

Reviewed: 10-26-07


1. Echoes of the past
2. Reborn
3. Going down
4. Same old lines
5. Rain
6. My own way
7. Through the fire
8. The calm
9. Limb from limb
10. 220
11. Legacy

Sweet title!
Blazing speed, power, and intensity? Check. Magnificent, swelling and memorable choruses? Check. Top-notch songwriting? Check. Strong vocals and impressive musicianship? Check. Inspiring, emotional and personal lyrics? Check. Passion? Freshness? Check. Check.
The worst I can come up with is that the song titles don’t sound too impressive reading them...

Lord, if you don’t already know, is the continuation of Dungeon, the magnificent Australian metal band which blazed onto the scene with 4 stunning full-length CDs of gloriously energetic power metal which seemed to capture a unique bridge between the American and European styles. "Lord" Tim Grose was the vocalist and guitarist for the band, and with various turnover in Dungeon, essentially opted to start fresh with this new moniker, but rest assured, any fan of Dungeon's output should realize that this does not miss a beat, but for all intents and purposes could have continued under that name without making anyone blink. Not only that, it's up there with the very best in their catalog.

'Ascendence' blasts out of your music player with "Reborn", unrelenting in furious riffs and incredible speed, absolute ecstasy for those who like speed in the metal... but then, what makes Dungeon/Lord special, the choruses engulf you as well with incredible melodies and harmonies that have songwriting akin to Dokken's 'Under lock and key', but unrestrained by hard rock tendencies, and instead burning with pure metal power. That is a sublime combination.

Songs like “220" (an instrumental which absolutely melts, frets and strings) and “Legacy” give you plenty more of this speed, while some songs do slow down to reasonable highway speed. The CD concludes with a very cool cover of Pantera’s “Shattered” which somehow manages to convey some of the uniqueness of that band’s sound while belting out Lord’s version in a manner much more power metal, and vocals that are much more Halford than Anselmo.

Overall, if you like speed, melody, and you like them put together well, this is great!




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