They are perhaps the most prominent rock band currently in Belize. Tonight, Ascenthium is set to make their biggest performance yet. They hail from the Cayo District and over the years the band has seen its popularity growing as well as their musical skills. The band has written and recorded original songs which they are set to release soon but for now, they are looking to go international and that requires money. Tonight at the Civic Center, the band seeks to raise money so they could attend the Wacken Open Air preliminaries in Panama City on April 27. The band performs tonight alongside Verge of Umbra and Wacken world Champion, Jet Jaguar. We were at the civic this evening to witness first hand, their rehearsal.
Deena Halsall Bass Player, Ascentium Rock Band: ““Friday nights event is supposed to be one of the biggest rock shows we have had in the country thus far. We partnered with APEX, the Civic Center is allowing us to use the space. Other than that we have gotten endorsements from N.I.C.H. and the Office of the Music Ambassador and a lot of people are showing their support. Slingshot is helping with the banner in the front and everything so the country is coming together to show their support to our journey to Panama and that’s the big one. That is the International Metal Battle Competition. The person that wins that gets to go all the way to Wacken Germany to show the crowd there what the band does, what we play.”
Dalila Ical: “Do you feel ready for Panama?”
Deena Halsall Bass Player, Ascentium Rock Band: “Yes, I would say we feel prepared, we are ready for Panama. We take what we do very seriously and as a band, we practiced weeks and months to prepare for the event. An event of this caliber we want to show the rest of the world what Belize is capable of in terms of rock and metal music.”
Christian Gonzalez: “We are not going there to compete but we are actually going there to set standards in that way you know. Wacken is a very big festival and I am pretty sure that organizers are going to have an eye on us so that means the months of preparation, long nights, long setlist and long hours. All of that goes into preparation so we are definitely going in there and we are going to kick some butt.”
Cesar Gonzalez: “Panama is for us a big opportunity to show what Belize has to offer. We have the defending champions for Central America who are Belizean “Verge of Umbra” who won in 2017 and went to represent the region in Germany. For us to be able to replicate that and do it twice in a row I think will send a big shock wave saying you know what Belize do have a rock culture that is alive and active after all. I think that is huge for us and we are taking it seriously.”
Dalila Ical: “Are you ready?”
Cesar Gonzalez: “Oh yeah we have been ready for a good while.”
Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow has been one of the key supporters of the band’s endeavors.
Office of the Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow: “It’s very important for me inclusivity and one of my missions for this calendar year was to be more involved in those genres that I haven’t maybe given enough attention too, not for lack of trying. I have been trying to develop a relationship with Ascentium for quite some time. I wanted to hire them but maybe due to availability they couldn’t take the gig but they have been to my music business conferences and so we have been developing. I promised, I said listen I am going to put you on Music Month Festival and let’s work together. They took me up on my proposal to support them and that’s why we are here now so when they came to me with this idea of doing fundraising to go to Wacken which is you know one of the biggest festivals in the world to represent Belize it was no brainer for me. I answered the call and did whatever I could to garner support from other avenues as well as my office. I think it is a matter of national pride. They will be representing us at Wacken and we need to cheer them on so I definitely invite everyone to come out to the civic center tomorrow April 12th and let’s support our musicians.”
The show starts at 7:30pm at the Civic Centre and will feature other attractive entertainment.