Ascentia are a five piece metal band from Greensboro, NC, releasing their first EP, titled Pathways after forming in 2008. That’s a long time. I’d hoped that 9 years of toil would produce something with a bit more substance. But no. Pathways sounds like a college rock band at best, and a lazy attempt at worst. For an EP that’s had so much time to become better, it feels rushed, thrown together. It’s hard to tell if I can’t enjoy Pathways because of poor production or poor writing, or perhaps both.
There’s no other way to put it, Pathways simply falls flat. It claims to be for fans of Dream Theatre and Strapping Young Lad, and frankly as a fan of both I find that insulting. There’s no sound of SYL or Dream Theatre (two fairly different sounds anyway) and I can barely hear any influence from them.
David Godwin‘s voice is reminiscent of Iron Maidens’ Bruce Dickinson, though not quite so powerful, and he’d probably be quite suitable for a cheesey Iron Maiden tribute band.
Perhaps it’s just teething problems and maybe I’m being a bit hard on Pathways but I feel like after 9 years Ascentia should have found their feet by now. It’s all my opinion of course and there’s probably a group of people out there somewhere who are desperate to hear more. I won’t be sweeping them under the rug, however. There may be a time when they drastically improve their sound and I will give them another chance. Until that day, though, I will happily get on with my life.