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Apr 23, 2019

Road to Wacken Takes Ascenthium to Panama First

Belizean rock band Ascenthium is hoping to follow in the footsteps of musical forerunner Verge of Umbra by participating in and winning a regional competition that will secure them a place on stage in Germany in the weeks ahead.  The group has spent countless hours preparing for its chance to impress the judges in Panama this Saturday.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano caught up with the group at the P.G.I.A. this afternoon prior to departure. Here’s that story.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Off to Wacken’s Central American Metal Battle in Panama, Belizean rock band Ascenthium is participating in a competition that, should they emerge victorious, will see them take the world stage in Germany this summer.  The group is the second Belizean band to take part in this prestigious competition.

 

Cesar Gonzalez

Cesar Gonzalez, Lead Guitarist, Ascenthium

“It’s one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done.  I mean it’s like one of the biggest performances we’ve ever prepared for in our lives and they’re only giving us twenty minutes but it’s going to be a hell of a twenty minutes we’re going to give them, you know.  And should we win, we have to go up against all Central American bands, each country’s best.  So, we’re the chosen from Belize and we’re playing against the ones who are chosen from Guatemala and so on.  Whoever wins first place gets to go to Germany for the final in the world championship, they go against all the countries that are competing.  So it’s a pretty big deal.  Pretty big deal.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How did the idea come about for you guys as a band to get involved in not only the regional competition, but to try to take your music to the world stage?”

 

Cherisse Halsall

Cherisse Halsall, Publicist, Ascenthium

“Ascenthium is really trying to put Belize on the map when it comes to rock and metal.  Two years ago, Verge of Umbra went to this same exact competition so we are really following in their footsteps.  We’re taking with us the Belizean judge, Mr. Oscar Mis, he started a festival called Metal Haven that’s been running nine years now and it was through him that we were contacted to have this opportunity so really that’s what we’re trying to do, establish Belize as a big name.  Verge of Umbra won the regionals two years ago and we plan to do that this week.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What has been the preparations in terms of you guys coming together as a band and making sure that your sound is unified and it’s up to scratch?”

 

Cesar Gonzalez

“Wow, it’s been a lot.  Like we’ve done so much, like pretty much sixteen hour days, you know.  We have been performing originals in the past few years, but we created a new one just for this competition and we’re not just taking originals, we’re not just taking our songs, you know, to just go to play.  We have a performance ready, a show, like what a rock show should look like.  So it’s taken us a lot, like several months in preparation, fundraisers and practice sessions and composition sessions, a lot.  It was so much.”

 

Ascenthium performs at the Hangar Bar on Saturday, April twenty-seventh. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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