They're Gozitan, they're metal and they rock...very hard! Ascendor has, in the space of the seven or so years since the band was formed, established itself among the leading thrash metal acts on the local scene. Up until yesterday, their catalogue consisted of two albums, 2013's Becoming and 2015's Drive My Demons Away; both records brimming with pummeling riffage that reflected their thrash roots as much as it did a number of other influences, among them progressive and death metal elements.
Having kept a relatively low profile these past couple of years, the band has just resurfaced with a brand new track, Metalhead, and an accompanying video, a first for the band. The song acknowledges the undying spirit of brotherhood existing within the metal community, described in the band's press release as 'a faction of people who are often misunderstood and misinterpreted simply for being clad in black'. This same theme is also evident in the music video, which was filmed and edited by Gozitan filmmaker Bryan Testa of TestaFilms with the assistance of Sean Attard.
Metalhead will feature on Disturb the Dust, Ascendor's third album which is scheduled for release in the spring. The album will feature 12 tracks addressing social issues such as injustice and abuse along with other adverse experiences, while sending out a positive message of encouragement, hope and strength to overcome these challenges. The album will also feature a re-recording of a live crowd favourite off their debut album. (they haven't mentioned which track, but I have a pretty good inkling which one it will be)! Disturb the Dirt, which was recorded by the band itself and mixed and mastered by Steve Lombardo.
The Gozitan quintet will also be making its long-awaited return to the stage at next year's edition of the Shellshock Metal Festival, which will be held at Chateau Buskett on February 17, 2018.
Currently the only active metal band in Gozo, Ascendor was formed in 2011 by drummer Paul Formosa following a number of jam sessions with guitarists Andy Fava and Joe Costa. The line-up was completed with the arrival of Steve Muscat on vocals and Blasio Muscat on bass. The band has played countless local gigs and festivals, and was also a finalist in the 2013 Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands.
Photos by Bryan Testa and Sean Attard (www.testafilms.com)