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Ascension Of The Watchers - "Numinosum" (CD)

Ascension Of The Watchers - "Numinosum" CD cover image

"Numinosum" track listing:

1. Ascendant
2. Evading
3. Residual Presence
4. Canon For My Beloved
5. Moonshine
6. Mars Becoming
7. On the River
8. Violet Morning
9. Like Falling Snow
10. Sounds of Silence
11. Quintessence

Reviewed by on March 31, 2008

"Bell wanted to change things up and create a more ambient and spiritual kind of music. Ascension of the Watchers is exactly that."

For those who don't know, Ascension of the Watchers is a band that is fronted by Burton C. Bell, the lead singer of Fear Factory. This band is by no means another metal band. Instead, Bell wanted to change things up and create a more ambient and spiritual kind of music. Ascension of the Watchers is exactly that. Their music is simple - sometimes minimalistic - with emotion-filled vocals. Bell, who is known for his powerful singing voice, lets his vocals shine and take over with this band. There is nothing that has really changed about his singing methods, but there are no longer any Fear Factory-style screams.

"Numinosum" opens with the basic introduction track, "Ascendant," which leaves the listener with a question of where the album is about to take them. The intro is mostly soft ambient music with speaking throughout it, which leads the listener into the first "real" track, "Evading." Upon first listen, "Evading" sounds like a very light and soft Fear Factory song. There is random speaking in this track, which is also present in a few others. Other than that, there's not much to take away from this track, which leaves one to feel a little disappointed after the first two tracks.

The album starts getting somewhat interesting on the third track, "Residual Presence." Again, the music is nothing special on this album, but it fits for the laid-back spiritual experience Bell wants to bring forth. "Canon For My Beloved" and "Moonshine" may be the best two tracks on the album. "Canon For My Beloved" is an interesting love song. The beat of the song is very march-like. As this track marches onward, Bell starts to belt out the long notes with great emotion until the song finally comes to a close leading the listener to "Moonshine," which was my particualr favorite of them album. "Moonshine" has more of an upbeat sound to it, which makes it memorable to the listener and prevents a certain level of boredom from setting in. The rest of the album feels pretty much the same as the first half.

In conclusion, Bell wanted to create something new and different than the typical aggressive headbanging songs. He has done just what he wanted. "Numinosum" is far from metal, but, to some, that won't make a difference. If you plan to check this album out, make sure you enjoy softer ambient music. "Numinosum" also contains some Goth aspects, which may interest some. If you were looking for something dynamic with Burton C. Bell's then you may be disappointed. The difference between the two bands is not nearly extreme as Tool and A Perfect Circle, for example. Sure, there is a difference between Fear Factory and the ambient Goth-like sound of Ascension of the Watchers, but if you take one of the slower Fear Factory songs and slow it down and pull it in different directions then you'll get Ascension of the Watchers.

Highs: The middle of the album is the most exciting.

Lows: Nothing too dynamic or overly exciting on this album. The listener may lose interest after getting through the first half of the album.

Bottom line: If you enjoy sitting and tuning out to ambient/Goth/simplistic music with deep lyrics then give this album a try.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)