1. Moving Forward 2. Arise From Dreams of Thee 3. Anemoi 4. La Torre del Silenzio 5. Sailing to Constantinople

1. Moving Forward
2. Arise From Dreams of Thee
3. Anemoi
4. La Torre del Silenzio
5. Sailing to Constantinople

“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.” American fantasist and novelist Peter S. Beagle claimed in his 1968 bestseller The Last Unicorn. Without sorrows and burdens, how would we learn to rise above? How would we learn to ascend to something greater, something that was once considered unattainable? Life’s best stories are those where we grab our demons by the horns, those where we realize that we are all in charge of our own destiny and fate, allowing us to transcend the inherent limitations of humanity. As we speak, people all over the world are telling stories, and every single one of those stories needs a hero. Are you up for the task? AESTHESYS’ new album Ascendere, which releases September 19th on dunk!records, will strengthen you along the way.

This invitation to go and create one’s own life path is apparent in two distinct tracks on the album: Moving Forward and Anemoi. These songs will leave you with the feeling that nothing is beyond you, that the sky is the limit. The fabulous album artwork by Californian illustrator Brian Luong takes it a step further: the sky is only the beginning, as depicted in a series of beautifully drawn images that show a convoy of sailing vessels plowing through the clouds, ascending to the sun. This heroic scene couldn’t be more fitting to the music on AESTHESYS’ fourth full-length studio album. Moscow-based multi-instrumentalist and band founder Nickholas Koniwzski once articulated the concept as follows during a 2012 interview: “Listen to good music and remember that there’s a whole universe of things to discover – go and explore it.”

Moving Forward, the opening track on the album, starts off with a monotonous dark drone, but quickly evolves into a gorgeous keyboard-piano ensemble. The guitar chords introduce a hint of EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, while the drums round off by adding a layer of drama to the equation. Night falls, and the song turns into a lullaby, with Nickholas’ violin strokes floating like feathers on a gentle breeze. The violin plays a more prominent role on Ascendere than on previous AESTHESYS albums, referencing the fact that Nickholas Koniwzski was once a promising classical violinist.

The second track notable track, Anemoi, is arranged in a rather fragmented way. The song starts with a piano melody that could easily be the intro to a COLDPLAY song. Luckily, the violin steps in after a short while, adding credibility and richness to the arrangement. The most interesting bit, though, is the YNDI HALDA-style apex. All pieces of the puzzle fall into place as the song erupts in sheer beauty. The track ends in a mysterious almost-silence, with only a minimalistic composition of drum and synth sounds filling the room.

In a way, this album is reminiscent of the 1998 DreamWorks Animation movie The Prince of Egypt. Both the album and the movie tell authentic, vivid stories in a modern, contemporary way. The movie succeeded in translating an ancient religious story into something people of all ages enjoyed, whereas the album delivers a modern neoclassical post-rock sound that does not neglect authentic elements in both sound and artwork. The biggest resemblance, though, is that both feature heroes. Everyday people like you and me who understand the importance of ascending, surpassing something bigger than ourselves. All aboard! Get ready to set sail for the sun.