There are some really great albums that were released this year. We almost came to the end of 2016 but terrific sounds keep coming all around the world. The Canadian instrumental progressive metal band AsZension has just released their third studio album titled “Portals.” And with this release they placed their name in the mentioned category of the best and tastiest records to come out in 2016.
As mentioned, “Portals” is completely instrumental. There are some vocal-ish things here and there in some of the songs, but it doesn’t change the fact. What is clearly noticeable throughout the record is harmony between all of the instruments they are using. There are seven songs in total total on “Portals.”
The opening “Metamorphosis” starts with a flute solo and it keeps on with calming sounds of keyboards. Then guitars come with a distorted tone combined very well with keyboards and effects. This piece reflects to the rest of material in terms of composition.
What I mostly like about this album is the sound of keyboards, courtesy of Kevin Thiessen and Gabriel Palatchi, which complete the other instruments. In other words it could be said that keyboards on this album are just like vocals on any standard recording. The moment you expect to hear some vocals, keyboards are coming to the stage and they take this craving of your ears to hear a sound completely maintain by a voice.
The self-titled, sixth song brings in some ethnic roots, especially at the beginning. A great choice for a song that also gives the album its name. Calm, great acoustic style, percussions that give oriental figures to the piece; all that nicely combined with the sound of piano. The song has its personality and it has its mystery. And of course, keyboards are again at the frontline, just like on the other tracks which makes this album special.
All in all, “Portals” is a must-hear record put out this year. Give it a chance!