Ascending King is a Spirit-filled Doomed Black Metal from the Dallas, Texas area.
Ascending King formed under the vision of the brainchild, Ruah, who began his musical career in 1999 as the vocalist for the band Dryline until 2008, when the metalcore act disbanded. Ruah, then known only as Aaron Kirby, began growing in his faith as follower of Jesus Christ.
By 2015, Ruah formed Ascending King in 2015, and released “Genesis of Desolation,” the project’s debut single, in 2016 on SkyBurnsBdlack Records. Last year Ascending King joine Nosral Recordings as the label’s first band, and released the EP, Funeral of a Species, marking Nosral’s and Ruah’s debut release.
Funeral of a Species is available everywhere now.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Ruah a few questions about Ascending King, Nosral, his other projects and more. Check out the interview below!
First of all, How did you get into heavy music?
I would say it was the mid 90s. I grew up in a small East Texas town about an hour or so from Dallas. We only had what the rock and metal radio was playing so I got into Metallica, Pantera, Tool, etc. I also started to listen to punk. A lot of Misfits and NOFX.
What was your first exposure to more extreme, doom, blackened metal, etc?
I would say probably mid 2000s. I started listening to Cannibal Corpse and 6 Feet Under. That took me into the grind realm like Pig Destroyer and Ed Gein. From there I found black metal like Darkthrone and other black metal.
Let’s talk about the latest AK release: What’s the reaction been to Funeral of a Species?
I say it has been good. Better than I anticipated. About 99% has been very good reactions that I know of.
That’s great! What is your favorite part of that album, whether it’s a lyric, riff, etc.?
My favorite track I would say is the last song, “Eternal Extinction Of Apollyon.” I feel it encompasses everything that the record has to offer in one song. The line, “This is the end of everything,” I think sums up the entire concept.
For those that haven’t heard it, can you share a bit about the last days on earth concept of the album?
It’s my interpretation on the Biblical Last Days on Earth before and during the Great Return Of Christ. A lot of darkness and despair but with a glimmer of hope intertwined. With the obvious knowledge that it will all be overcome through Christ and his Reign.
Following that idea, can you share a bit of how the Gospel moves through your music?
I want the Gospel to be tangible through my music, if that makes sense. I want to write about Christ in a way that can make anyone understand and to bring light into the darkness. I don’t want my lyrics to be all Scripture but written in a way that non believers can enjoy the lyrics but also spark their curiosity as to where my lyrical motivation comes from. I hope that makes sense – haha. I try to write an atmosphere that welcomes the Holy Spirit in AK and TotC [Thief on the Cross].
Name the least metal album that you own?
Veggie Tales – haha. But aside from my kid’s music I would say Sigur Rós, an ambient band from Iceland. One of my all time favorites. I also love old delta blues. Mississippi John Hurt is my favorite from that era.
Writing and recording as a one-man project gives you such freedom in your songwriting. What’s your process like?
Relaxing, for the most part. When it comes to writing and recording drums I do it in a very tedious manner. More so than others I know of. That part stresses me out. But the freedom to write and record what I want and how I want feels great. Nosral has pushed me to write freely as well which is great. Some stuff I have coming up after my next single will be very drone oriented, which was recommended by Michael Larson (Nosral Recordings President). He is an outstanding label president who brings the best out of his artists.
Any drawbacks of being a solo project?
Not as much exposure because you don’t play live. It does take a toll on the popularity but the extreme Christian scene is very receptive and pays attention to artists like myself.
Can you tell me a bit about some of your other musical projects?
Sure! I have a Harsh Noise/ Noise project, Thief On The Cross, that has also been released on Nosral. I like to think of it as an abstract audio art form and not music in the sense of rhythm and structure. My record out now is Waiting In Psychosis For The Great Return. The next record in the works now, I brought on a life long friend of mine, Brandon Fearn (Solomon Kane). He is bringing some amazing elements to it. He is adding a lot of dark ambiance to it which is very exciting.
How rad was it to perform with El Gibbor? Tell me a bit about that experience.
It was amazing. I literally practiced with the band Friday evening after I drove up from Texas with my wife and the next morning before we left Fire’s house for Audiofeed. I played along with the songs prior to that at home. Then we actually changed a few things once I got there. My wife and I left with what we feel was an extension of family. We all became very close over that weekend and are still close. We all hated to leave each other. Luckily we all still stay in touch. It was great to share the stage with Taberah, Azahel, Fire and Sebat. And a special shout out to Ravn Furfjord for letting me use his bass rig and my long time friend Cebo for borrowing the bass.
How did you get connected with Nosral Recordings?
Through Fire (Elgibbor). When I agreed to play with him I spoke with Michael Larson (Sebat) since we were playing together and he mentioned he was starting a label. I was leaving SkyBurnsBlack Records (not for negative reasons, Joshua Sky is an amazing guy) and was looking for another label. He told me his mission for the label and I loved the idea. I was also very excited to be the first release for the label. It was a great decision.
Any other Nosral bands you recommend for fans of Ascending King?
All of em’ – haha. We are all actually different styles of extreme metal for Christ. I guess having to compare one, it would be Katharos (Fire and Taberah). But you should check out all of the bands.
Anything you’re working on that you want to tease?
I am slowly writing a single for Ascending King (I take forever). That should be done soon. Also Solomon Kane and I are working on the next release for Thief On The Cross (TotC). Release date is not decided for either. I am going to release a website very soon for everyone to go to for fans of Ascending King and Thief On The Cross. I want that to be a major hub for fans. I want to eventually minimize Facebook as much as possible for me. Not a big fan. But I do have twitter and Instagram for both projects that I want to strengthen. I want to say thanks so much for giving me this interview. It truly means a lot to me. God Bless.
Keep up with Ruah: