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  • Tracy Heck

Ascending From Ashes release deluxe version of 'Glory', working on new music

Rock/metal quartet Ascending From Ashes kicked off the new year with the release of a extended/deluxe version of their full length concept album Glory.

The original album was released early last year and explored the perils and pitfalls of leadership through the narrative of a young prince and his ascension to the throne. Glory was produced by John Moyer (Disturbed) and featured singles "Revolt," "Enemy," "Afraid," and "The Prince."

Glory‘s re-issue features four additional tracks: "Pentadextrous," "Black Forest," "Dream On" and "Florence."

Ascending From Ashes released its debut record, The Phoenix, in 2011 and followed that up with the EP Phoenix Rising, which featured the single "Thundergun" and the band's popular cover of the Power Rangers theme song.

That release gained them the attention of Moyer who went on to work with the band and has become a mentor of sorts.

The band has been gaining a lot of recent attention from their weekly Youtube live performance streams and from their bi-weekly podcast where they invite local guests to discuss their own projects and share their experiences as artists in their New Jersey music community.

Recently, Rock Life spoke with Ascending From Ashes' guitarist Kevin Ricco.

Q: You have the extended edition of Glory coming out in time for the holiday season.  For those who haven't heard the original album, what do you want people to know about it and what is included on the deluxe version?

Kevin Ricco: Glory is a concept album that tells a narrative exploring the motivations, struggles, and successes of leadership.  Its original version is 13 songs, but the deluxe version includes four extra songs that lend insight to the perils of our protagonist’s mercy and his post-narrative status.  They include an instrumental called “Florence," the chaotic juggernaut “Pentadextrous," the lightning-fast “Black Forest" and heavily charged version of Aerosmith’s “Dream On."

Q: What originally made you decide to tackle a concept album?

KR: The inspiration started with the writings of the philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, who explores leadership in great depth with his book The Prince.  From that, we specifically dive into the ambitions of leaders and the methods they utilize to gain people’s loyalty, trust, and respect.

Q: How important has having John Moyer in your corner been and what's the best piece of advice he's given you?

KR: John’s influence has distinguished our songwriting and polished our production - he’s been like a carnauba wax on the whole coat of our sound.  One of his many great pieces of advice has been, in short, to “make it a moment," with “it” being whatever component of a song was up for discussion.  With John, we were constantly exploring ways to make sure that every part of a song had a distinguishable focus, and the rest of the arrangement served to that end.

Q: Your live stream concerts have been a big success.  How did you originally come to start doing them and how do you feel it's helped your notoriety and relationship with your fans?

KR: The live stream concerts are something we spent quite awhile building, and so the success of them has been incredibly relieving!  It started on the suggestion of our management and became something we all invested our efforts in.

With it, we’re able to connect with fans in a new way, and offer an interactive concert experience that we feel is generally unparalleled. 

Q: Your podcast seems to have really brought your local music community together.  Was that the orginal goal when you started it and what's been your favorite moment so far?

KR: The original goal was almost a lack thereof; we figured we had the facilities, so let’s podcast!  It evolved from simply talking amongst ourselves about what we enjoy (music, news, pop culture, etc.,) to bringing other local artists into the conversation.  I think for us though, the most fun part has been just doing it, and in the process, learning more about each other.

Q: Do you have any upcoming shows we should know about and what is the schedule for your live stream/podcasts?

KR: Actually, right now, we’re on hiatus from gigging and casting.

Q: Looking ahead, what's the next thing you'd like to try and anything else upcoming that you'd like to share?

KR: The reason for our hiatus is to hone in on the production of our newest material.  We have some really exciting original material that we’re already underway recording and we couldn’t be more excited about it!  The initial few songs are certainly in a realm of bouncy metal that feels untraveled, at least by us, and ultimately very exciting and catchy.

Q: Favorite thing about doing this and one thing you wish you didn't have to deal with because of your chosen profession?

KR: Our favorite thing is definitely the core of the beast: creating and performing music.  Having to do the required due diligence for some of that stuff (like setting up all the tech for a live stream/podcast) is maybe less fun, but still by no means a deal breaker or anything.

Q: Anything else you'd like to say to the fans?

KR: Just stay tuned for our new tunes, and catch us on our live stream in 2020!

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