Ghostheart Nebula – Ascension

A little more than two years ago I closed my review of Reveries with these words: “… it’s a work that at first glance puts itself in the wake of the best bands in the sector and one hopes, at this point, that it doesn’t remain the dazzling manifestation of an impromptu project but that it constitutes, if anything, the first step of a band of great depth also capable of bringing its own splendid music live“. I’m very happy that my wishes have come true: Ghostheart Nebula, which basically started in 2017 as a solo project of Nick Magister, passing just through an ep that, as seen, already contained all the prodromes of the final work, have turned into a band capable today to rewrite the hierarchies of the national death doom and, above all, to release a wonderful album that for artistic weight and evocative potential equals in 2021 what was Beyond The Shores by Shores Of Null last year. Ascension represents the epiphany of a reality that has nothing to envy to the most celebrated European or American bands; every note of the album exudes a melancholy that always seems to be on the verge of transcending into an inescapable despair, before channelling itself into a melodic development that leaves you stunned for the emotional peaks it can reach. All this is realized with the creation of a personal and varied sound, dark and lacerating in the first tracks to culminate in the masterpiece The Cage, a track embellished in the final by an atypical instrument such as the theremin handled by guest Jon Liedtke, and open slightly in an atmospheric sense in the trilogy that gives its name to the album, thanks to the appearance in Pt. I Cosmic River of Gogo Melone, whose voice for once does not induce the band that exploits its talents to move the sound coordinates close to his Aeonian Sorrow but is enslaved to the writing of Nick Magister, making the result even more evocative and touching (it should be added that another beautiful female voice, that of Lucia Amelia Emmanueli, makes a fine show in the opener Mira). Maurizio Caverzan proves to be an excellent vocalist in alternating growl and scream without hesitation, while the good Bolthorn (Giovanni Feroldi) with his bass finds the ideal rhythmic backing in the new entry of drummer Federico Leone (Black Rage); finally, we should not overlook the entry of a second guitarist as the expert Aron Corti who helps to make the sound more compact and that will prove undoubtedly decisive in this sense even in live performances. Unfortunately, I fear that these good Lombardy musicians, to get a deserved commercial success, should take Finnish citizenship and then in those lands maybe Ascension would fight in the upper parts of the national charts with the various Marianas Rest, Kaunis Kuolematon and the same Swallow The Sun; in our lukewarm lands the fate is to move some old fans of the genre like me and a few others, but this happens with the awareness of having recorded an album that has few equals this year. Here is music written with heart and passion, addressed to those die-hards who are constantly looking for new names and albums to discover and support, giving priority to the content of the records rather than to the name of the band on the cover.  

2021 – Black Lion Records