Phoenix Rising – Ascension (CD)

The title track for Phoenix Rising’s “Ascension” begins with an emotionally dense composition that plays heavily in a classical style, but does not have any of the stuffiness or must associated with the classical style. Rather, what Phoenix Rising does during this track is weave a rich narrative through the entirety of the track’s 7 minute runtime.

For the act, there does not need to be anything vocal present; the intrepid and talented arrangements that act as guideposts for listeners here ensure that a vocal side to Phoenix Rising is not needed at this juncture. For individuals that may have been educated on the virtues of vocal music, purchasing a copy of “Ascension” is vital to increase the appreciation that one can have for music. I know that I am typically not a fan of instrumental music, but what is done with each of the album’s seven cuts is glorious, providing the listener with heady music that will require multiple spins before that time when they can truly get everything that the members of Phoenix Rising have included on “Ascension”. There may only be seven tracks on “Ascension”, but do not let it seem as if Phoenix Rising is just riding out a few themes. Rather, the extended length of the tracks on “Ascension” allow Phoenix Rising to essentially expand on different topics and themes to their logical conclusion, rather than being forced to cram in a brief array of thoughts and feelings into a space that is decidedly too short for it.

Furthermore, the tracks on “Ascension” have links between each other, as well to the conception of the album itself. That is to say, the thoughts and emotions touched on during “Creation” constituent an album-wide phenomenon, which means that for full enjoyment, listeners should secret themselves away to a quiet room and fully enjoy what has been committed to disc by the members of Phoenix Rising. When I am looking for a clean and crisp set of compositions, “Ascension” will be the first album that I reach for. I eagerly anticipate the band’s future recordings, if not only to see the new ground the act will touch upon in the years to come.

Top Tracks: Nourishment, Insight

Rating: 8.8/10

Phoenix Rising – Ascension / 2009 Self / 7 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/bayareacontemporarymusic

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