Ascendia are a four piece group, two of which being brothers who have played together since their teens. Which is probably why the music seems to have a tight, mature sound for a début. The music is a blend of American and European Symphonic metal with inspiration drawn from the bands of the 70's and 80's, the resulting sound is not what I expect from a Canadian band but I am sure that it will end up being appealing to many metal fans.
The first thought on hearing the vocals is that somewhere along the way there is an Arabian influence like you hear on movies, but then it goes into a power metal type sound with vocals to match. The vocals on this release show variety which adds to the attraction of this band. The guitar work is pretty damn good, with some of the sounds making me wonder just how they did it. It truly stands out. The Scandinavian type symphonic sound creeps into the music but is not as over bearing as some other bands, although it is more evident on some tracks than others. Each of the songs comes into its own with a slightly different sound giving each track its own individual appeal. There are no what I call fillers on this album. The tracks are arranged in such a way that they run nicely into each other. The production on this release has not been overly done, which appears to add the whole atmosphere of the music.
The Lion and the Jester is the bands debut release with the quality suggesting that it was recorded by a band that have had a number of previous releases. Would I recommend this album, yes definitely.