The Ascended have certainly started to make a name for themselves in Australia. A four piece melodic metalcore band originating from Warrnambool in Victoria, they have just launched their debut album ‘Awaken Within’ and are currently touring nationally in support of this. The new album is something front-man and guitarist Mat Wale is eager to discuss. The whole record took about 6-8 months to get together and finish, and according to Wale “it has given us more of a chance to show who we are. It has a lot of variation to it. You listen through it and you can hear the difference in all the songs, there are different things going on in a lot of the songs. We are showing all sides of us as a band.” Showing what the band can really do is important to Wale in taking the next step in their career. Founded in 2014, Wale had taken initially taken a break from music before getting the itch to write again. Reaching out to other musicians he knew, Wale initially jammed with a friend who was a drummer over a 12 month period and wrote the band’s first EP. Eventually Guitarist Corey Verhaegh and Bassist Braden Dawson rounded out the line-up and The Ascended was born.
The band have become known for their unique sound which blends melodic metalcore with more traditional thrash and groove metal sounds. When asked about influences, Wale states “I guess for me personally, it’s your traditional melodic metal core bands. Your Killswitch Engages, your Triviums, your old school players that have been around for 15 or so years.” However like many bands, different members bring in different histories and influences, subtly affecting the sound of the band and giving them an individuality. Wale is clear the The Ascended are no different. “We are all into different things. Some of the guys are into Mastodon for example. Some are tight into their Miss May I, the metalcore stuff. We kind of find ourselves on the instruments and take all of that into consideration. What you’re listening to always plays a part in how you write.” It is a blend of these influences along with each members own individual style that has helped to create the band’s own sound, a sound that has been increasingly garnering interest in the music scene.
‘Awaken Within’ was launched on the 4th of May to good reviews. The next night the band started their tour at Melbourne’s Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar, and will be touring around the country. Like many bands, the guys are eager to get on the road and see what other cities have to offer. “I think we’re always keen to play with any other band really. We are keen to see what each of the places have to offer, and what bands.” Wale also indicates they are looking forward to seeing the different bands they will be playing with in each city and catching up with mates, and fans. But what Wale and the boys look forward to the most is showing off the new songs; Wale excitedly states ”I think the thing we are looking forward to is getting the music out there and seeing the reaction, and seeing what kind of fan bases we have developed over the years. And now we are fortunate, we are hoping we can see these people come out and start to get some recognition for who we really are.” Recognition is certainly something the band has started to gain with the debut album getting solid reviews and the tour creating positive buzz.
But like most artists, Wale and the boys have no intention of resting or coasting on current accolades. Wale makes it clear that The Ascended are a forward thinking band, and have already got plans over the next year or so. Like many ambitious bands and artists the boys have their sights firmly on touring overseas. “The goal is to take this overseas. We know where we want to go and it’s about making that happen” continues Wale, “So yeah I guess our main goal is to go overseas and reach a whole new audience.” One thing that becomes clear is how important the audience is to the band. Throughout the interview Wale talks of fans new and old and seems truly grateful for their support over the years. Whether talking about playing live or recording, it becomes clear that when the band makes music they make it with fans and listeners in mind. In fact when asked if he had one final message, Wale immediately gushed his thanks for the fans and “to everyone who supported us. We want to say thanks and that the overall statement for this album has been – and it’s in the credits of the album – is that this album is for the people. For everyone who has ever supported us, for everyone who has ever cared enough to come out to a show. This is us giving back to everyone that has supported us over the years. We just want to say thank you and that we hope we can see as many people as we can on the road, and keep doing what we love and what you guys want us to be doing.” If the new album and current tour are anything to go by, Wale and the boys will certainly get their wish.
GRAB YOUR COPY OF ‘AWAKEN WITHIN’ HERE AND CHECK OUT TOUR DATES BELOW!