By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida–May 7, 2017
According to Ascendia’s website the band has an upcoming album in 2014, and they used to be a five-piece band. Vocalist Nick Sakal, guitarist/vocalist John Lov, and drummer Billy Lov still form the core of the band, but bassist John Abanador has been replaced by Nick Gibson, and keyboardist Maestro is just gone. Their Twitter feed appears to be up-to-date, and discusses the current tour locations and a soon-to-be-released second album. Guys, if you want to gain the following you deserve, please update your social media!
None of that mattered when they hit The Orpheum in Tampa’s Ybor City district. As part of Evergrey’s “The Storm Within” Tour, they were an intriguing introduction to Canada’s metal scene, coming from Toronto. A blending of North American metal traditions with European prog-metal bands, they started out performing metal covers of classic pop songs like “Maniac” and “Careless Whisper” for talent shows and battles of the bands, but have moved into their own music released on the aforementioned album, “The Lion And The Jester” (available for sale on Itunes). “The lyrics are in-depth and metaphorical, cryptically and poetically exploring themes of fate, deceit, and the human condition and culminating in a conceptual four-song series that tells the story of a young man and his spiritual Guardian.” The now four piece band was tight, with no discernible lack from no longer having a keyboardist, and despite the lack of typical metal band trappings (they all have short hair, and “Come On Eileen” is their morning tour bus jam – seriously!) they fit well with the other bands and the audience.
Follow them: @Ascendiamusic
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.