Music Reviews

Review: Maddthelin Evolves With Debut Album “Ascension”

MADDTHELIN’s debut album generated some solid hype since it was first announced for a September 2015 release. Preceding the new record were “Perplexity” and “Ascension”, two singles which served to reintroduce the screamo/post-hardcore band as a relatively more melodic, tamed and graceful being.

September arrived but went by without an album — Maddthelin instead released a music video for the single of the same title, produced by Luey Motion Lab.

But months later in February, Maddthelin’s boatload of blistering effort finally surfaces in the form of Ascension.

Maddthelin’s 2016 lineup. From left: Asyraf, Adiel, Kareema, Lenny, Daniaal, Izzul.

Released earlier this month, Ascension is a respectable release well worth the wait.

The record kicks off with cherished single “Perplexity”. Openly announcing the band’s line-up change, the track notes “Hey we have this new girl Kareema and she could slay”.

To its credit, Kareema really does slay. Combining her presence with Lenny’s euphonious scream and the work put in by Adiel (drums), Asyraf (bass), Izzul and Daniaal (guitars), “Perplexity” harmoniously and unabashedly celebrates the band’s latest addition.

Ascension’s cover artwork.

Following this is “Voices”, which boasts a tide of violent drumming as well as an edgy guitar riff. Somewhere around the two-minute mark however a piano begins to take control, providing recognisable form to the rest of the track.

Elsewhere on the album, “Axis” mashes some destructive guitar work and fast-paced drumming for one of the record’s more upbeat moments, while second single “Ascension” treads the line between loud and mellow, anger and sadness. There’s also a melancholic two-minute guitar and piano interlude towards the end of the album.

Also of note is “Undone: Part II”, a sequel to a track recorded in 2009. Part II however gathers an extra dose of frantic — listeners can expect to be haunted by bewitching beats wrapped up in mellifluous tones.

“Conscious” however is set to be a fan favorite: igniting soft and sweet like a ballad of late-night longing, the track eventually gains intensity and becomes a platform for Kareema to shine.

Fans at some point will want to compare her role to beloved former frontwoman, Yasmin. It must be mentioned that both maidens boast their own unique strengths, and both have shown commitment to their roles within the band.

Ascension closes with two re-recorded gig staples, namely “Rise” and “Forfeit”. Their new versions, complete with a tighter, crunchier sound, displays maturity and a verve for progress.

It’s clear that Maddthelin is firing on all cylinders.

Clocking in 32 minutes of blitz, Ascension is everything these musicians have been working on for at least eight years — the fact that this band still prevails in today’s day and age is a wonder to behold. But given their knack for growth and adaptability as evident on this latest release, perhaps their success is no mystery at all.

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