DEMIAURA – The Ascendant

DEMIAURA - The Ascendant
  • 8/10
    DEMIAURA - The Ascendant - 8/10


Label: Pavement Entertainment
Release date: July 16, 2021

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

Prog Power Trio Finds a Voice

Though they’ve been around since the 90s as an instrumental group, DemiAura are releasing their debut album as a 4 piece band titled The Ascendant on Pavement Records. Originally conceptualized by drummer Keith Heaney, guitarist Bobby Chavez and keyboardist Jonathan Gabriel, Jr., the trio had sought a vocalist for years without a finding the perfect fit. That all changed in 2017 when they teamed with singer Chelsea Wrathchild, completing the Progressive Metal lineup, and leading to this first excellent offering.

Melody Meets Math

As one would expect with a Prog Metal band, there are lots of tricky time signatures to twist the brain. The guitar work is phenomenal, The keyboards are epic while the drums are expertly played. DemiAura draws its influences from giants of the genre like Rush, Fates Warning, Tesseract, Periphery, Liquid Tension Experiment, and Opeth to name a few. Making the change from a purely instrumental band to having a lead vocalist is not an easy task, and they are on their way to perfecting that goal.

Final Notes

The music is well written on every track. The musicianship all around is fantastic. Chelsea Wrathchild has an excellent voice, and seems a great fit with the band. That said, the songs are a bit on the long side, and could use more vocal parts to break things up. This is a strong debut album, with many great atmospheric moments punctuated by heavy syncopation. Fans of Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, DGM and Progressive Heavy Metal will certainly dig The Ascendant. Definitely worth having in your collection!

DemiAura - Band Photo


Chelsea Wrathchild – vocals
Keith Heaney – drums
Bobby Chavez – guitar
Jonathan Gabriel, Jr. – keyboards

The Ascendant – Tracklist

01 – Pleiadian
02 – Heavy Skies
03 – Between Two Fires
04 – Through the Ages
05 – The Dreaming
06 – Antikythera
07 – Escaping the Event Horizon
08 – Shining Through
09 – Perfidy
10 – Equinox


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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