Southern Indiana seems a long ways away from Europe, but Symphony of Heaven bring the death metal on The Ascension of Extinction (ep) that would fit right in with the likes of Antestor, Slechtvalk, and Behemoth.
From the opening fast riffs and driving rhythm of “You Shall Be As Gods”, the song literally grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me awake. I was instantly reminded of the last Slechtvalk album I reviewed Where Wandering Shadows and Mists Collide back in 2016. The main verses have that dark, heavy element that drives the song along with the deep shouted vocals keeping pace and the rhythm section adding an almost groove feel. I like how the song has a bit of a more peaceful interlude before picking back up and shifting to a double bass driven pummeling to the end. Production for the genre is great, guitars and drums easily distinguishable and the vocals clear…at least for the genre.
The title track, “The Ascension of Extinction”, is a bit more straightforward death metal at least in the beginning with the fast guitar riff and drums but then slows a bit with some female spoken words and some black metal sounding near shriek-like vocals breaking up the song and providing a nice contrast to the shouted, deeper death metal growls that fill the rest of the song. Throughout, the guitars are heavy and the drums nicely punctuate the overall sound.