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NTH ASCENSION

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Nth Ascension biography
Founded in Blackpool, UK in 2010

Carrying the torch of the long history of British Neo-styled Prog bands, Nth Ascension came together around 2010 by a core of five musicians, namely Michael Taylor on vocals and bass, Craig Walker on drums and percussion, Martin Walker on guitars and Darrel Treece-Birch on keyboards.The band originates from the city of Blackpool with all members being involved in several other projects in the past with Treece-Birch becoming also the keyboardist of the legendary Hard Rock act TEN aroud the time of Nth Ascension's formation, while he has also released a pair of solo albums.The debut comes in 2011 under the title ''Frequencies of Day and Night'' and it's a nice mix of old and modern Neo Prog stylings similar to GREY LADY DOWN, ARENA and PALLAS.Apparently at some point bassist Gavin Walker joined them with Martin Walker focusing on lead vocals and the band currently works on a second album.

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Ascension Of KingsAscension Of Kings
Sonic Vista Records
$19.99
In Fine InitiumIn Fine Initium
CD Baby 2016
$12.88
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NTH ASCENSION discography


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NTH ASCENSION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 18 ratings
Frequencies Of Day And Night
2011
3.87 | 44 ratings
Ascension Of Kings
2014
3.89 | 26 ratings
In Fine Initium
2016

NTH ASCENSION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NTH ASCENSION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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NTH ASCENSION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NTH ASCENSION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Fine Initium by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 26 ratings

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In Fine Initium
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by Kingsnake

2 stars With people namedropping Saga and Pendragon I got curious.

As of lately I''ve grown weary of progmetal and neoprog and other genres wich solely rely on studio-power and electronic instruments. On the other hand I love electronic music (psybient, psytrance etc.), but I'm diverting.

I think with my renewed interest in more analogue based-music and seventies progrock aswell as modern bands playing in the old stylistics and have an retro-sound, a lot of modern neoprog and progmetal sounds too sterile and devoid of soul and passion.

That's exactly what's going on with Nth Ascension. Although I can hear how skilled the musicians are, it frustrates me. It's like getiing hit by a freighttrain and dragged on by that freighttrain for an hour. It's much too much for me.

Also I really don;t like the leadvocals. His timbre (?) annoys me. The music is more in the vein of Arena and Galahad than Saga or Pendragon. Where Saga is more pop-oriented and Pendragon has much more soul, Nth Ascension is basically continuing the music Marillion once made.

I can recommend this to any fan of Arena, Galahad and old Marillion and neoprogkitch, but I cannot recommend this to people who want to hear subtle music with room to breathe.

 In Fine Initium by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 26 ratings

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In Fine Initium
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars For their 2016 album, Nth Ascension made the move to American label MRR, and the confidence they gained from the critical acclaim of their debut is clearly apparent. Whereas the debut 'Ascension of Kings' was an excellent album, this one just seems to have that touch more depth in every area. There are three songs more than ten minutes in length, and as well as channelling the likes of Pendragon and Clive Nolan there is also far more in the way of Pink Floyd, Magnum and Saga. The music is arranged in such a way that Alan's vocals are very much to the fore of everything that is going on, which to me is a huge benefit as he has more than a touch of Roger Chapman and particularly Cyrus (Citizen Cain) about what he is doing, although I am aware that it may not be to everyone's tastes.

It is a class album that is full of the Nineties prog scene in so many ways, and anyone who lived through that musical period such as I will be listening to this with a huge smile on their face, yet it has been brought both up to date in terms of production as well as looking back into the Seventies for inspiration here and there. Craig is a great drummer, driving the tunes from the back and adding fills and stylings when the need is right, always working the kit without overpowering the rest of the guys. His brother Gavin does far more to lock down the sound and keep it tight, but also moves away from grounding songs when it is time for him to add additional melody. Their dad either riffs, solos, or sits back and has a rest and does nothing, so that when he does make an entrance it always has an impact. Then of course there is Ten keyboard player and solo artist Darrel, providing curtains of sounds, or taking the lead, or adding dynamic piano, whatever is required.

The more I played this album the more I enjoyed it, as the more I gained from it. While the debut was strong, this is far more distilled, controlled, and so thoroughly enjoyable.

 Ascension Of Kings by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 44 ratings

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Ascension Of Kings
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars In 2009, drummer Craig Walker was asked to stand in for a local band, where he met keyboard player Darrel Treece-Birch, who was also helping them out. This led to them deciding to start a new project together, and they brought along Darrel's long time collaborators Martin Walker (who just happens to be Craig's dad) and singer/bassist Alan 'Spud' Taylor. After the release of a demo, Gavin Walker (Craig's brother, Martin's son ? are you following this?) was brought in as bassist to allow Alan to concentrate on singing. At the time of the release (2014) Darrel was in two other bands, one of which was Ten (with whom he is still with today), and singer Gary Hughes helped out by engineering and producing Alan, as well as providing some backing vocals. But these guys are a totally different style of music to what Darrel plays in Ten.

Some people will argue that these guys are neo prog, while others may look to crossover, but it is honestly just easier to state that they are a very English sounding prog band. Classic Pendragon have obviously been an influence, but so have some of the more keyboard- oriented pastoral bands of the past, and every time I play the classic "Weight of The World" the vocals remind me of some of the songs from Roger Glover's 'The Butterfly Ball'! I think what I like about the album is that there is so little stress within it, it is quite laid back at times, but they know when the guitars need to make an impact without always crunching out riffs. They are all fine musicians, but are quite happy to sit back and often let Darrel lead the musical flow while Alan sits over the top of it all with wonderfully melodious vocals. They close with the eighteen-minute-long "Vision" which allows them to musically stretch their wings, yet still keep it all contained and incredibly melodic. Driving, pastoral yet rocky when they need to be, melodic, musical, this is a really nice album indeed.

 In Fine Initium by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 26 ratings

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In Fine Initium
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK band NTH ASCENSION was formed in 2009, originally using the moniker Nth Degree, and solidified as a band unit in 2010. An initial demo was released in 2011, and in 2014 they signed to UK label Sonic Vista for the release of their official debut album "Ascension of Kings". In 2016 they left their former label to sign up for US label Melodic Revolution Records, who released their sophomore production "In Fine Initium".

Nth Ascension is very much an English band, exploring landscapes and sounds that were invented and developed on the British Isles. Melodic, powerful progressive rock is the name of the game here, and then by and large explored inside a neo progressive general context. Their take on the genre is one that relies heavily on alternating, contrasting arrangements and a striking lead vocalist further enhancing the dramatic aspects of the compositions. It's also a take on this style that has something of a steely edge to it at times, unlike the more pop/rock oriented artists you'll also encounter inside this general sphere of reference. For some distinct similarities, I suspect the sound explored by later day Pendragon is a fairly good comparison.

Majestic, powerful passages sporting firm guitar riffs and one or more layers of keyboards is the staple for the harder edged passages in these compositions, at times in arrangements with stronger similarities to AOR style hard rock, at other times, especially when the keyboard is less prominent, comparisons can be made toward Canadian powerhouse trio Rush as well. And on a few occasions the sheer intensity of those more powerful passages close in on the gentler side of classic progressive metal if not in scope then at least in a sound that is rich, powerful and striking. Offsetting these riff and keyboards powered sections are sequences of a more delicate nature, where plucked careful guitars, wandering piano motifs, crying style guitar solo runs and keyboard textures of a more ethereal character all have their place.

The combination of these two types of at times starkly contrasting themes and arrangements works really well, and the contrast aspect is explored in an effective and striking manner throughout this album. The subtly theatrical, dramatic lead vocals of Alan Taylor is a good fit for these compositions, and his vocal style and delivery does add something of a rock opera spirit to some of these cuts, giving rise to associations towards some of Clive Nolan's exploits in that specific department.

The aforementioned lead vocals may be something of a divisive aspect of this album however, as this may be just a bit too melodramatic for some, and the mix and production also gives this production a slightly closed in sound that may not be universally appealing. But besides those who know they have sensitive tastes in those departments, "In Fine Initium" comes across as a strong and accomplished production by this still relatively new band, and I suspect that those who know and love later day Pendragon and Clive Nolan's rock opera projects should be the crowd that finds this CD to be most satisfying.

 Ascension Of Kings by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 44 ratings

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Ascension Of Kings
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK band NTH ASCENSION was formed at the start of 2010, initially as a quartet, and one year later they released a debut album of sorts: A live demo album called "Frequencies of Day and Night" which was made available as a CD-R and as a free digital download. "Ascension of Kings", their official debut album, was released through the now apparently dormant UK label Sonic Vista Music. The band has since signed with the US label Melodic Revolution Records, which currently also has the distribution rights to this album.

Nth Ascension is a band that, on this occasion, combines classic hard rock sounds with vintage-like neo progressive rock, exploring each style individually at first and then combined at the end of the CD. Those who tend to enjoy bands such as Magnum and Saga just as much as Marillion and Pendragon should feel right at home with the contents of this CD, and should probably take the time to get familiar with it.

 Ascension Of Kings by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 44 ratings

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Ascension Of Kings
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by PH

5 stars Nth ASCENSION's new musical journey is called 'Ascension Of Kings'. It represents a curious diversity with shades of Magnum, Foreigner, Asia, early Marillion, Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Arena (to name a few). What's more, the concoction of influences melds into a passionate exploration of the band's own quirky style. All the ingredients are in right place. Predominantly, the compositions work on two levels: bombastic segments alternate with the delicate nuances and sublime melodies. The lyrics add some poetic feeling to this craftily arranged, compelling affair.. Well, let's elaborate. The opening track, 'Fourth Kingdom', brings a gravitas with exhilarating lead vocals (Michael 'SPUD' Alan Taylor), terrific guitar performance (Martin Walker), layers of synthesizers (Darrel Treece-Birch), energetic drumming (Craig Walker) and associated bass (Gavin Walker). The vanguard song is followed by 'Return Of The King', drawing on a subtly intense power that drives this instrumental forward. Next up, 'Strange Dreams', which starts enthusiastic, then continues changing and evolving throughout its duration. The pace slows down on 'Overture (Clanaan pt.1)' with a vaguely disquieting feel. Its successor, 'Realm With A Soul (Clanaan pt.2)', features gloomy mood and rather distant vocal harmonies. The third instrumental on this album is captivating 'Seventh Rider (Clanaan pt.3)'. Again, the guitar player sets his palette to the fore. In particular, Andy Latimer comes to mind. An unhurried tempo 'Weight Of The World' I'd describe like balladry Roxy Music coupled with Asia-type choruses. Finally, we have a monumental epic, Vision'. This tour-de-force brings the CD to a solemn close. Great stuff!.. Hope, the exquisitely packed 'Ascension Of Kings' will put Nth Ascension on the map of important prog-rock bands.
 Frequencies Of Day And Night by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 18 ratings

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Frequencies Of Day And Night
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by PH

4 stars Channelling amalgam of early Marillion (Fish-era), Rush, IQ and Arena, the new British group NTH ASCENSION have delivered a debut CD 'Frequencies Of Day And Night''. Anyone who was in part of vibrant neoprogressive rock scene in the 80's era, can find elements of this release really nostalgic. Songwriting is of a high quality. All compositions are melodic, incorporating a variety of good motifs. The trademark is the energy of performance. Some dramatic and quieter pieces are included as well. This quartet consists of: Michael Alan Taylor (bass guitar, lead singing), Darrel Treece-Birch (keyboards), Martin Walker (guitars) and Craig Walker (drums & percussion). So, take a moment and familiarize yourself with what is here... If there're quibbles, it's only on the production side. Otherwise, 'Frequencies Of Day And Night' is a solid visiting card. We have only just gotten to the tip of what's possible for these talented guys.
 Frequencies Of Day And Night by NTH ASCENSION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 18 ratings

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Frequencies Of Day And Night
Nth Ascension Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nth Ascension came to reality in early 2010, when a group of veteran musicians and friends from Blackpool, UK dediced to form a band and design their own progressive world.These were Michael Taylor on vocals/bass, Craig Walker on drums/percussion, Martin Walker on guitar and Darrel Treece-Birch, maybe the most experienced of all members with already a couple of solo albums out plus he became the keyboardist of Hard Rock band Ten around 2011.It was around the same time, when the British quartet released what to supposed to be a digital demo of their ideas, titled ''Frequencies of day and night''.

With this work Nth Ascension appear to follow the lines of a modern British Neo Prog bands, which show glimpses from the stuff released by the legends of the genre in the 80's, a bit upgraded with clean production and heavier segments ala later PENDRAGON and ARENA.The material is definitely well-composed and executed with plenty of different climates, helped by the choice of the band to write down long arrangements.Sharp guitar work, bombastic guitar/keyboard showering, some big symphonic and pompous sound on keyboards and pretty accurate vocal lines are the basic characteristics of this work, but all these elements will often meet a more laid-back approach with a certain PINK FLOYD mood: Soaring keyboards, light organ and emotional guitar solos.It doesn't break any new grounds, but the guys here could certainly compose some great music and play their instruments with sheer passion.As long as I am concerned, they never escape from the genre's classic influences and stylings, but you gotta love their dynamic and tireless performances, flavored by the heavier rhythms and pounding bass and drum parts, while the keyboard work is pretty efficient.''Return Of The king'' is a monster tune, no doubt, powerful symphonic keys over a doomy groove, hard-edged guitars and some neurotic synthesizers complete a short, but fascinating instrumental cut.

A band to keep an eye on.This demo leaves much to be desired, very solid, well-played and pretty interesting music, satisfying enough to add the band in your watchlist and look for their further works.Warmly recommended.

Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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