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Ascent Descent E.P. - Atsphear

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Artist: Atsphear

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      31.01.2008 23:50
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      Atsphear's first E.P. (2007).

      This three-track E.P. was released by Madrid-based melodic death metal band Atsphear to introduce new vocalist Juan Dominguez to fans before the release of anything more substantial, but other than this small point of interest there isn't anything here to really satisfy veterans of the genre. Dominguez combines death metal growls with melodic singing much the same as all other melodic death bands, though fortunately his singing voice has a much less whiney quality to many of his contemporaries, while the instruments backing him up are generic to the point of real tedium.

      This wouldn't be a bad album to listen to if you were a newcomer to melodic death metal, or were perhaps seeing the band live on a pleasant Spanish evening, but I've long since become bored to tears by the machine gun barrage of down-tuned guitars and clinical, lifeless drums. There isn't any real degree of variety between these three songs, but as it's only a twelve minute release and is downloadable from the band's website, rather than something fans are expected to track down, there's no reason to see this as a fault; surely any material is generous material. Dominguez is clearly the band's strongest link and he carries the three songs off well, despite a rather pointless reliance on dominant singing in track two, but guitarists Sergio Lara and Manuel Probanza unleash some quite cool solos in the first song, and experiment with odd distortion in the third that held my interest for a brief time.

      However average this release may be, it's tilted further down the scale thanks to the presence of embarrassingly juvenile lyrics in 'Oblivion' as Dominguez yells "I hate myself! I hate myself!" at various points and succeeded in turning me over to his point of view (it also reminded me of a song someone proudly played to me a few years ago that they'd recorded themselves, and was quite an embarrassment to listen to). This is free, but it's a bit of a waste of time.

      1. Ascent / Descent
      2. Oblivion
      3. The Chase

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