UK progressive rock band, NTH ASCENSION, featuring TEN keyboarder Darrel Treece-Birch in their ranks, have released their third studio album ‘Stranger Than Fiction‘ today via Metatronic Records. The album contains 8 tracks including a further three instalments from the ongoing Clanaan Chronicles storyline which began on their debut release.
1. The Opening
2. True Identity
3. Fire In The Sky
5. The Gathering (Clanaan pt7)
6. Journeys End (Clanaan pt8)
7. Lament (Clanaan pt9)
8. Sound To Light
NTH ASCENSION has returned to their regular album artist Oliver Pengilley to paint the stunning new artwork. The renowned UK artist made his cover art debut with NTH ASCENSION’s first release ‘Ascension of Kings’ in 2014, and was followed by their sophomore release ‘In Fine Initium’ in 2016. The powerful seascape contains Pengilley’s trademark imagery and pulls the viewer deep into ocean waves.
The album was engineered by Darrel Treece-Birch & Martin Walker. Mixed and Mastered by Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band), EKG Studios, USA.
Writing in NTH ASCENSION is very collaborative. Initial ‘bare bones’ of songs are brought into a rehearsal setting and the band enhances the song from there. Once the song is fleshed out and expanded upon it is then ready for playing live or indeed recording. All members of the band bring ideas to the table and in some cases a reinvention of older ideas from the various incarnations of previous bands, eg Vision is a song written originally in 1991 by Darrel Treece-Birch, at which time it was 8 minutes long and not 18 minutes as it finally ended up.
Influence wise each band member sites many artists as ‘having an influence’. Such as, Marillion, Genesis, Yes, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rush, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd to name a few. But the band resolutely stands by, that the music that is created is not designed or to order but is organic and natural.
NTH ASCENSION is:
Michael Alan Taylor – Vocals
Darrel Treece-Birch – Keyboards (TEN)
Craig Walker – Drums & Percussion
Gavin Walker – Bass Guitar
Martin Walker – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Imagined in November 2009 by keyboardist Darrel Treece-Birch and drummer Craig Walker after both helping out a friend (Alan Allcock) with has band ‘Sonic Jam Project’ at a Charity concert in Fleetwood (Fleetwoodstock). Long time writing partners and friends Alan ‘Spud’ Taylor and guitarist (and father of Craig and Gavin) Martin Walker signed up in January 2010.
The first year the band went under the name Nth Degree but altered the latter after discovering other bands with the same name. The writing ‘core’ of Darrel, Alan and Martin has been in operation since the mid 80’s.
A demo recording ‘Frequencies Of Day & Night’ was issued as a free download option via website Aurovine in late 2011. 2012 saw the addition of brother to Craig, Gavin, on bass guitar, making it truly a family band. In 2013 the band began sessions developing what became the songs for Ascension Of Kings. In November 2013 the band signed to Sonic Vista Records and began recording their ‘official’ debut album ‘Ascension Of Kings’. The album Ascension Of Kings contains a 3 part suite entitled ‘Clanaan Chronicles’ which will run and occur on subsequent albums. This follows a story by Darrel Treece-Birch in the vein of Narnia/LOTR which sees the rescue/redemption of a tortured realm from an evil dictator by a Seventh Rider who ultimately ascends to be a prophesied King.
In 2015 the band departed from Aurovine and signed with American label melodic Revolution Records (MRR). In 2016 they released their second album ‘In Fine Initium’ to further critical acclaim and in the three year period collectively the members released 6 albums on the USA based label.
In February 2019 the band’s contract ended and they signed to Metatronic Records in order to release their highly anticipated third opus ‘Stranger Than Fiction’. A marked jump in production was added with the mixing and mastering skills of Neal Morse Band guitarist extraordinaire Eric Gillette.