The 4th Studio Release by Gozitan Thrashers Ascendor (MALTA) sees the band immerse their sound in their old school thrash metal influences. ‘Circle of Violence’ is a blend of fast, groovy, melodic and heavy metal inspired by both real and fictional monstrosities.
Ascendor is a Heavy Metal quintet surging from the island of Gozo (MALTA) which was formed in July 2011 by drummer Paul Formosa who had been looking for members to form a Metal band. Guitarists Andy Fava and Joe Costa met up for a jam with Paul, from which all three perceived the apparent chemistry present both in the style of playing as well as in the writing of original material.
The trio started out by composing their first original songs as well as covering a number of songs by their idols and main influences, namely Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Slayer and Judas Priest. When a solid foundation was established, the band began looking to complete their line-up. In the fall of 2011 they auditioned Steve Muscat, who immediately secured and cemented his place as the frontman with his powerful vocals and stage attitude along with the energy and vitality added to cover songs (not to mention the infinite amount of body art, which compliments nicely the aesthetics of the band’s image).
By the turn of 2012 the band contacted Blasio Muscat, an old friend to take up bass duties. Blasio gladly accepted the offer and not only did he bolster the band’s sound with his solid rhythms but also brought in grooves which took the song writing to the next level.
The band needed to establish an identity which reflected each member as well as their sound. Having seen the final line up the name Ascendor was chosen, reflecting the notion of a Phoenix reborn and ascending from the ashes in a similar way of how the band was formed from the remnants of previous local acts.
Ascendor prepared a set consisting of numerous covers as well as a handful of original songs which they delivered to the local metal fans on their debut gig at a local bar in Gozo.
The band spent 2013 planning and playing further gigs in Malta and Gozo; such as participating in the annual edition of XMA (Xtreme Metal Assault) and also making it to the final of the Hard Rock Rising Battle of the bands, while simultaneously working on the recording of their first album. The eight-track album titled ‘Becoming‘ was released in August 2013, preceded by the releases of their first ever singles titled ‘In the Hands of the Enemy’ and ‘War Machine’, giving just a little taste of what the album will be offering.
Even before the release of Becoming, Ascendor had already finalised two brand new songs and spent the rest of 2013 and the first half of 2014 writing further material. After opening for the NWOBHM titans Angel Witch in May, the band hit the studio again in Summer to record their second album, with the aim of delivering a more established and consistent sound. Following a turbulent period for all the members, the album was titled ‘Drive my Demons Away’ as all the songs on the album represent the band’s recent adverse experiences. While keeping 2015 busy with live performances, including supporting Belgian Thrashers Evil Invaders as well as participating in the annual edition of the XMA, Ascendor released their second record online in April and launched it officially in August during a show with fellow metal band Angelcrypt (whom in 2019, Paul would temporarily join as their drummer for a European tour, as well as recording the drum tracks for their 2020 release ‘Dawn of the Emperor’).
After relocating from their original rehearsal space Ascendor had planned to start working on new material and preparing for more live shows but were faced with unfortunate health issues which put the band on halt for over a year. When everyone thought Ascendor were dead and buried, on the 13th October 2017 Ascendor marked their comeback by releasing their first ever music video for the single “Metalhead“, off of their third album “Disturb the Dust”. The record is set to be released in Spring 2018, preceded by the band’s long-awaited live performance at the 2018 edition of Shellshock Metal Fest.
2019 saw the band focusing solely on the writing and recording of their new record. In 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to stay locked inside, Ascendor ensured they finalised the production of their fourth studio record ‘Circle of Violence‘. In June of the same year, the title track of the album was released as the first single off the album, accompanied by a music video. July and August saw the release of a further two singles; opening track ‘Silver Bullet’, accompanied by a quarantine-style music video, and ‘Creatures of the Shadow’ respectively. On the 25th September, Circle of Violence was released for online streaming as well as physical distribution.
Steve Muscat – Vocals
Andy Fava – Guitars
Joe Costa – Guitars
Blasio Muscat – Bass
Paul Formosa – Drums
Album Title: Circle of Violence
Release Date: 25th September, 2020
Genre: Thrash Metal
CD Track Listing:
1. Silver Bullet
2. The Creation
3. Circle of Violence
4. Feed Off Me
5. The Ancient
6. Screaming Demon
7. Creatures of the Shadow
8. Ruler of the South