A puzzled sentiment...
Genre: progressive metal
Originally released in 2006, "Flaws of Elation" is going to be reissued this year on Lion Music with new artwork, as a sort of follow-up to 2012's "Inheritance". When I heard "Inheritance", I was puzzled at the classification of Ashent as a dark prog power metal band, seeing how melodic and, to be honest, not very dark that album is (but still a very good album).
Having listened to the reissue of "Flaws of Elation", I now understand the dark prog power metal label. One "Flaws of Elation", Ashent draw much more extensively on dark power metal, and their guitars a crunchy and the riffs heavy, yet challenging (there are even some elements from extreme metal every now and then). While not as experimental in terms of texture as "Inheritance" is, "Flaw of Elation" still feature some nice textures primarily provided by the keyboards.
Now, "Flaws of Elation" is at heart very melodic, and there are plenty of guitar melodies, and also some nice guitar harmonies which seem to build on the foundation laid by Fates Warning on "Perfect Symmetry". Sophisticated and complex, without descending into instrumental wankery at any point, the music on "Flaws of Elation" is definitely challenging, but still not inaccessible.
While I do not want to belittle "Inheritance", I think this is a much better album. It is more progressive and more aggressive. And then I must admit that I prefer Steve Braun's more pwoer metal-oriented vocals on this album to Titta Tana's crooning on "Inheritance". Braun's vocals are more acrobatic and, at times, remind me of a less busy Jon Arch.
The four bonus tracks on the 2013 reissue are pretty interesting. They are all taken from the bands 2003 demo and feature some more power metal oriented versions of songs that are also found on the "Flaws of Elation"-album. Also, they feature a Max Zhena on vocals, who has a very interesting voice.
"Flaws of Elation" is simply an outstanding and original piece of progressive power metal, and the prog metal-loving community should be thankful that Lion Music are going to reissue it.