Nth Ascension are a progressive art rock band from the north-western part of England that started in January 2010. In the past all of the musicians had played in various bands, but they were also good friends. As they all loved prog rock they decided to write and play together just for the love of music, but without a certain goal except for an occasional gig and the possible recording of a demo. Well, both things did happen! They recorded a six-track demo called Frequencies Of Day And Night that was for sale at the band during performances. The demo became rather popular within the prog community, so things have just gone 'above and beyond' anything they expected. I got a tip to check out this demo which resulted in a promo sent by the band.
Let me first introduce you to the band members of Nth Ascension: Michael Taylor (vocals, bass), Craig Walker (drums, percussion), Martin Walker (guitars) and Darrel Treece-Birch (keyboards), who is also the keyboard player for Ten. It's easy to hear that Frequencies Of Day And Night is a demo recording. However, the music is just that good that I got hardly any negative feelings while listening to the songs that can be regarded best as neo-progressive rock. It's also easy to mention all the bands that inspired Nth Ascension, since the influences of early Marillion (Fish- era), IQ, Pallas and Arena are evident. Also Rush has to be mentioned thanks to the many excellent guitar parts, and I noticed a strong resemblance with the British band Grey Lady Down (GLD).
Strangely enough other reviewers didn't mention GLD at all. Apart from the musical similarity most vocal lines sung by Michael Taylor resemble those of Martin Wilson on the albums he made with GLD. Just like Wilson, Taylor isn't a great singer but it will do for the moment. However, if I compare his contributions to this album to the efforts of the other musicians then his singing is the weakest link, but fortunately it doesn't affect the high level of the compositions. The guitar and keyboard solos are just brilliant, so I can live with the mediocre vocals. Actually I couldn't find any weak track on this record, which is probably the reason why many people from all over the world applied for it.
At the moment Nth Ascension are looking for a record deal to release their second album that musically will be very powerful. I hope the successor of Frequencies Of Day And Night will be as good as this solid debut that will be enjoyed by many people who love neo-progressive rock. If they succeed in improving the vocals, and they're able to record the follow-up in a professional studio, I'm sure the future will look bright for Nth Ascension. Well done, indeed!
****- Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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