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After 2013's controversially received Incisions, the Windy City's Oceano return to basics with new personnel to boot. Following the more atmospheric approaches of both Contagion and Incisions, the sound of Ascendants is pure pummeling deathcore, more closely aligned with the monstrous attack displayed on their 2008 debut, Depths. Even if the approach progresses a tad, Ascendants offers up meat-grinding twin-guitar riffs, the constant blasting of veteran drummer Chason Westmoreland, and single-line frenetic bass throb. These nine tracks are designed to provide nonstop blunt-force trauma. Vocalist Adam Warren is at his most incessant and verbose here. His gnarled, twisted, ravaged voice is so far up front in the mix, the music seems like an extension of his guttural whirlwind, a continuous buzz saw of wrecked glossolalia that cuts away at the nerves in the brain, numbing it. Highlights include first single "Dawn of Descent" as well as "Transient Gateways" and "The Dulce Incident."

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