Toronto Heavy Steelworkers Ascendia shared a new single and music video for the track “This War!” The track is taken from the band’s forthcoming album. Parasite. Watch the clip based on the performance of the anthem song now!
“This War” is an anthem for those who struggle within and their suffering. “Everyone faces adversity and everyone has a battle going on deep within themselves,” says lead singer Nick Sakal. “For some of us, it’s from the time we wake up in the morning until we lay our heads on our pillows to sleep at night. It’s a reminder to never give up and always keep fighting.
Ascendia started with Prog Power, then took over and created some of their most memorable music to date. Hailing from Toronto’s heavy music scene, the band initially drew inspiration from what they and their peers grew up on — “Black Sabbath, Dio, Kiss, and symphonic metal like Nightwish,” says guitarist John Love. As their tastes broaden, their music undergoes a metamorphosis.
John and his younger brother, Billy (drums) form the songwriting engine of the trio which also includes childhood friend, vocalist Nick Sakal. The push and pull between the very different siblings creates songs with Billy’s great energy/passion and John’s introspection/depth – the best of both worlds. With Nick’s warm and expressive vocal style, the songs come to life in the most authentic way.
Billy (@billylovebaby on TikTok) delights his fans with fitness tips with attitude and kills his haters with hilarity – using his gregarious nature and truly winning personality to amass nearly 200,000 followers on the app. As his brother rose to prominence as a TikTok influencer, John thoroughly researched the new path their more commercial sound had taken them. “I was listening to 3 Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin and Sevendust. Sevendust has this sonic layering which is amazing…each of these bands had something to teach us. Billy explains why his brother is his best possible collaborator “I’m experimental, I try everything. John attaches me to the purpose of Ascendia – it keeps us from floating in space.
The trio have spent so much of their lives together that they have a musical shortcut. Nick’s songwriting role grew with the help of the “Pain Sheets” the band created while recording and shared in the studio. Bringing his personal “pain” into songs like “This War” and “Parasite” throughout the process felt like “group therapy,” he explains. It made her connection all the more deep and palpable.
Combining what they learned from commercial rock contemporaries with elements they loved from country and pop songs, Ascendia have created a body of work that will unfold over multiple listens. Early listener comparisons to Linkin Park and Nothing More bode well for band members who are fans of both bands. “I don’t like being compared to other bands because everyone brings something different to the table,” says Billy. “I understand, because you want to have a relative scale of something to compare. BUT, if you have to compare us to bands, these are awesome! »
After spending their childhood afternoons at Long & McQuade (Canada’s answer to Guitar Center) playing other bands’ songs, they decided to form their own band. Billy admits to having forced Nick to join the group, but the end justified his means. “When we were teenagers, John and Billy put us in a gang battle without telling me,” Nick explains. “I was so nervous when I found out and couldn’t believe I was going to stand up in front of all these people for our very first show, but we WON. The feeling of being on stage grew inside me, obviously.
Big fans of cinema and film music, the brothers went to see GODZILLA at the theater. One of the trailers before the movie had an epic, rising score. Billy suggested John maybe include the word ASCEND in the band name. Ascendia followed. Prior to the group’s current iteration as a trio, there were more members. The trio is keeping things tight with the band roster this time around because “there’s such an equal contribution from all three of us,” says Billy. “To add another band member, they would have to bring something significant into the mix. At this point, we’ll find a touring bass player when we hit the road.
Love is equal for touring and studio work for Billy. “Of course, I love the adrenaline rush of performing, but the reason I’m in music (having studied business in college) is to write a good hook. It doesn’t there is nothing like it.” Nick loves touring – travel and music being his twin passions, “and it’s a bonus that I get to do it with my best friends.” John concludes: “The writing process is not super pleasant. It’s filled with obstacles and frustrations…but you can’t beat the feeling of knowing you’ve struck gold. When this happens, a feeling of joy comes over me and reminds me why I love music so much.
This love will be shared with the world via PARASITE (the album) and their debut single “This War” coming SOON!