Ghostheart Nebula – Ascension (Review)

Ghostheart Nebula - AscensionThis is the debut album from Italian funeral doom band Ghostheart Nebula.

Ghostheart Nebula play a mixture of funeral doom and melodic doom metal, with added post-metal and post-rock flavour in places.

The funeral doom base of Ghostheart Nebula’s sound supplies the slow, dirge-like foundation of the songs. To this, the melodic doom influences help to add despondent colour, while the post-metal/rock elements introduce a modern feel to parts of the music that’s unusual in this sort of thing. Although an overly simplistic description, this does give a reasonable overview of Ascension, albeit one that doesn’t capture this album’s strengths and giddy heights anywhere near enough.

The band’s singer gives a very strong performance throughout Ascension. His delivery has good range and varies a fair bit, from deep guttural growls, to shouts and screams, and much else. He has a good voice for the material.

These songs are well-crafted and effective at what they do. There’s a lot of textured detail in the music. Rich and expressive, the album is filled with melancholic emotion and dark feelings. Layered with forlorn keyboards and swathed in veneers of mournful sound, these songs combine deep cosmic beauty with dark emotional resonance.

Each track has instant-appeal character, complemented by extensive depths that truly reward repeated visits to their fathomless bottoms. There’s 61 minutes of material here, but it never seems as long as it is due to how immersive and compelling the band’s music is.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ascension. Ghostheart Nebula clearly have a skill for this type of thing and this is a very accomplished and satisfying listen.

Highly recommended for all doom connoisseurs.

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