Leon : Divine Ascension is a band that I had debunked as 'one of the many mediocre symphonic metal bands', although I hadn’t even heard much of the band. However, I have to rectify my words now because the music that this band makes comes from the highest shelf of the symphonic metal genre. From the debut album 'As The Truth Appears', released back in 2011, the Australian band has been receiving a steady stream of good reviews from the media, nevertheless the band hasn’t been able to really breakthrough in Europe. In 2015, after the release of their second album 'Liberator', the band was the support act of Stratovarius and Gloryhammer. The group has worked on the third album for about four years, which will soon be released under the name 'The Uncovering'.
For the people who already know the band, 'The Uncovering' will bring few surprises, it is a logical continuation of their previous album 'Liberator'. The solid symphonic metal, reminiscent of Evergrey, Delain, and Amarathe, still dominates and, although it’s certainly not original, sounds great. As you can read in the previous reviews, the bombastic part of the music is somewhat over-the-top, but I think this only makes the fans of the genre extra happy. The instrumentation is excellent, especially the guitar parts of Karl Szulik are very strong, cool riffs and solos are present in every song. Drummer Luke Wenczel and Jason Meracis provide a strong rhythm section where all problematic rhythm parts are played very smoothly. The Keyboards are mainly supportive but give a good atmosphere to the songs so they just get that little bit of a boost (just listen to 'Prisoner'). But what is a good band without a good front(wo)man? Jennifer Borg takes care of all the vocals and she does it very well, she has a bit of a lower voice which distinguishes her from the many Nightwish-like singers out there. During the song 'Pursuit Of Desire' Tom Englund (Evergrey) joins in as guest singer, to be honest, I wasn’t even that surprised, given the amount of Evergrey influences in the music. His contribution is as you would expect from him, professional and sung as if it were his last day on earth.
The fine instrumentation and the nice vocals of Borg make the 'The Uncovering' an above-average album that many people would appreciate. Divine Ascension is one of the better bands in the genre that, unfortunately, produces many mediocre bands. Personally I would have liked to see some more progressive elements, as the band might have been able to distinguish themselves from the competition a bit more. Nonetheless, I’m sure that this band will attract many new fans with this album, and they deserve that too. A recommended listen!