Throughout his ultra-prolific recording career, Ben Chasny has never shied away from guitar heroics, but he's mostly channelled them into acoustic fingerpicking and folky songcraft for his solo Six Organs of Admittance project. On Ascent he finally drags a backing band, heavy psych-rockers Comets on Fire, into the studio with him, and it gives his music a serious kick in the ass.
There are still elements of meditative drone and hippified folk, but when Chasny and his mates plug in and let loose, like on blistering wah-pedal-drenched opener Waswasa, the result is a propulsive, scorching, fret-burning new sound that makes you wonder why he hasn't been doing this all along. Ascent is still recognizably Six Organs of Admittance, but it's often hazier, heavier and trippier. Unless you hate psychedelic rock, it's hard to argue with that.
Top track: Waswasa