Rating:
5.5
Ascension Of The Watchers - Numinosum
2008


01. Ascendant
02. Evading
03. Residual Presence
04. Canon For My Beloved
05. Moon Shine
06. Becoming Mars
07. On The River
08. Violent Morning
09. Like Falling Snow
10. Sounds Of Silence
11. Quintessence


Folk Ambient
Label: 13Th Planet Records / Soulfood
Distribution in France (and to buy the album) http://www.underclass-music.com
USA: 2008
Length: 72:20

Line-Up on the CD:
Vocals, various instruments: Burton C. Bell
Keyboards, programming: John Bechdel


It's been a long time that Mr Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) talks about his project, Ascension Of The Watchers. If you were expecting something in the vein of Fear Factory, I can tell you that you'll be disappointed, because except for the voice of Burton there is just nothing similar between the two bands. Unfortunately I have to confess that his work with FF was just a lot more convincing than this one, it's probably a matter of taste but "Numinosum" didn't convinced me at all…

When you know the musical career of Burton C. Bell, "Numinosum" is really disturbing. This album is not something violent but more a kind of dark Goth / Pop or Ambient music. The songs are slow with only some keyboards and electronic sound played by John Bechdel and some guitars played by Burton C. Bell. Only the clean voice of the singer is the point of similarity with Fear Factory, this is really different yes. I'm not a specialist of the genre but I use to listen to ambient and folk bands and honestly I didn't find anything special on this release, it's easy to find better bands in the genre and to be honest I tried to listen to the album a lot of time but didn't find the way to be attracted by it. The songs are all a bit similar, atmospheric but complex and a bit elitist and in the end it can be a bit boring if you're not into this kind of music because there are not a lot of memorable melodies…

The idea behind Ascension Of The Watchers is not bad at all, after all it can be interesting to play something totally different than the music of your original band but let's be honest Burton C. Bell is better to play some kind of Indus Thrash Metal than to play Folk and Ambient stuffs. These songs aren't terribled but that's not enough to catch the attention of some potential listeners (and I don't even talk about the fans of Fear Factory…). The production is evidently perfect and the performance of the musicians cannot be criticized but I don't know, but despite some good dark ambiance, there is just nothing magic in this release, at least for me.

Ascension Of The Watchers is an interesting project in my opinion but Burton C. Bell will have to be a bit more inspired if he wants to convince the people who like Folk Ambient music. "Numinosum" is not terrible and some songs are ok but all in all, something is missing. Let's see what will happen with this combo in the future but it was tricky to write such kind of music and unfortunately Ascension Of The Watchers will not (for now) pass the test with a lot of success.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 


written by Jeff | 04.02.2008



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jupitreas - 05.02.2008 at 21:47  
There are some excellent Lycia moments on this album; however, Burt really needs to hone his songwriting abilities in order to make them work. The next album will most likely be better.

I still think Numinosum is a decent little record though. Perfect for evenings with a coffee.

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