"The Grim Awakening" is the debut full length studio album from UK Death Metal quartet Ancient Ascendant, released August 15th, 2011 through Siege of Amida Records.
The Grim Awakening is an album steeped in the blood of old-school death metal, particularly of the Polish and Floridian varieties (rather than the scrambled buzz-saw attack of the Stockholm scene), it is clearly played and written with an uncompromising modernity and professionalism that updates their influences with a storming sound and youthful vigour. This album offers up an impressive beating for listeners, that’s for sure, and possesses a variety of methods to inflict that pain upon them. The quartet have crafted a mammoth behemoth of sound and fury with a clearly developed sense of identity and direction. The only thing that is lacking is a real killer blow, a key song (or songs) that would be utterly definitive and unlock the last remaining potential of the group.
As it is, this is an album where no single song stands out as a defining anthem, but equally none show any weaknesses to be exploited by their enemies. The group have a knack for writing dense, heavy songs that pack in an array of spiked hooks and memorable, often irresistible riffage, backed up by catchy, hypnotic growled vocals and a pulverising drumming display. There’s a foundation here for a long and storied career, and all the signs point to a band for whom the only direction is up. --- nocleansinging.com