Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Sep 20, 2012
    These eight songs are indeed everything you'd expect from this reconfigured version of Comets on Fire with Chasny at the controls. It's a purely transcendental synthesis of heavy folk meditation and interstellar overdrive.
  2. Mojo
    Sep 19, 2012
    Mysterious and enfolding, Ascent seduces. [Oct 2012, p.90]
  3. Kerrang!
    Sep 4, 2012
    After listening to Ascent, you'll be hard-pressed to locate a better batch of mesmerising mind-expanding jams this year. [25 Aug 2012, p.54]
  4. Magnet
    Aug 23, 2012
    Ascent is an album that manages to find the perfect harmony between the normal and the weird, the dirty and the clean, the psychedelic and the straight. Put it in your psych-rock emergency kit. [No.90, p.60]
  5. The Wire
    Aug 23, 2012
    An unequivocally rocking set on which Chasny is backed by his former group Comets on Fire. [Aug 2012, p.56]
  6. Aug 23, 2012
    Everything works and there's really nothing more a fan of either Organs or Comets could ask for.
  7. Aug 21, 2012
    A quite astonishing record then, and one which establishes Chasny as a bona fide guitar god, proves that Comets On Fire are much missed, and knocks the notion of guitar music being dead into a cocked hat.
  8. Q Magazine
    Aug 20, 2012
    There's no doubt Chasny and his cohorts know all about dynamic underpinning, making Ascent a trip worth taking. [Sep 2012, p.111]
  9. Aug 17, 2012
    If you're tempted to go for a heavy dose of head nodding psychedelia any time soon, you probably won't find a better example released this year.
  10. Aug 16, 2012
    Mostly, it reminds you of what you liked about both Comets and Six Organs, and takes that good stuff a few steps further.
  11. Uncut
    Aug 15, 2012
    Ascent sounds like Chasny channeling a great band's alchemical powers to his own ends, in the process making what may turn out to be a highpoint in his already rich and complex career. [Sep 2012, p.78]
  12. 80
    Now that the former [Comets on Fire] has been on hiatus for about four years, Ascent proves that he [Ben Chasny] can fit those electric riffs in seamlessly with the latter's [Six Organs of Admittance] ritual depth.
  13. He [Chasney] may have made a misstep by not allowing the album to have that singularly defining moment but after his last few records, Ascent is a step up in terms of direction and execution.
  14. Sep 17, 2012
    The group's obvious enthusiasm for the project is contagious, and together they add another memorable benchmark to Chasny's formidable body of work, clearly having a fantastic time while doing so.
  15. Aug 24, 2012
    Despite a sharp shift in direction, the spirit of Ascent floats--sometimes upwards, at times skittish and swooping underneath clouds--but nonetheless rising.
  16. Aug 15, 2012
    Ascent is stuffed with psychedelic guitar virtuosity, moments where Chasny leaves this plane and enters one of those transcendental, mind-freaked, head-tipped-back, eyelid-fluttering states that few are capable of.
  17. Sep 10, 2012
    Chasny reveals himself to be a guitarist capable of an admirable level of intensity, if not pure technical virtuosity.
  18. Aug 31, 2012
    This is a solid set of space rock that will melt plenty of faces, even though it doesn't seek nirvana in Six Organs of Admittance's usual ways.
  19. Aug 29, 2012
    While it sounds less like a single-minded effort from Chasney than it does a high-spirited collective freakout from a reconfigured Comets on Fire, Chasney is still at the core of all the songs, transmitting his freaky visions in the guise of one face-melting power jam after another.
  20. Aug 23, 2012
    If the last album, Asleep on the Floodplain, looked back at his more acoustic records, Ascent does indeed rise above, leaving behind all but the best bits of past successes, and (hopefully) setting a fruitful and surprising path for a band that was already pretty unpredictable to begin with.
  21. Aug 22, 2012
    Closer to his work with Comets On fire, here Chasny plunges headlong into psych-rock, and he breaks a real sweat when he's not reaching for the next dimension (and sometimes during). [Aug/Sep 2012, p.113]
  22. Aug 20, 2012
    His extended solos during one or two-chord vamps - particularly on "Close to the Sky," "Waswasa" and "Even if You Knew," in that order of quality - are scrabbling, circular, slightly heroic, pulmonary with wah-wah and squalid with distortion. They're exciting, but they're also good for the head: they shove you into long-form listening mode.

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