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Ancient - Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends CD (album) cover

MAD GRANDIOSE BLOODFIENDS

Ancient

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

1.94 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
2 stars With two solid black metal albums already under their belts, Norwegian act Ancient decided to take a bit more of a risk with Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends. Although the band was still rooted in their country's black metal scene, this third album sees them taking more than a few hints from gothic extreme metal acts like Cradle of Filth. As if the cover art doesn't say it all, the music here has a lot more to do with vampires and blood-drinking than your average Norwegian black metal record; although it makes for an interesting enough idea on paper, Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends is an exceptionally weak experiment from a band who exhibited tons of potential on their previous two albums. Rather than effectively conveying the dark and ominous atmospheres that Cradle of Filth are capable of, Ancient's attempt at this sound comes across as a cheap and hokey imitation rather than a valid artistic entry. Although I don't quite think Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends is the utter piece of trash that many metalheads make it out to be, it's still an entirely non-essential listen for virtually every demographic.

Ancient's previous album, The Cainian Chronicle, showed the band improving greatly upon the black metal side of their sound - while I wouldn't venture to call this a flawless album, it showed that with a bit of work, they did have a lot of potential to create a truly amazing black metal observation. Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends takes quite a few steps back from these improvements, and the black metal sections are instead supplemented by laughably cheesy gothic overtones that simply destroy any chance of creating a convincingly dark atmosphere. Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends lacks the innovative attitude of Svartalvheim and the impressive songwriting of The Cainian Chronicle - all that's left is a rather dull effort that offers very little in the way of enjoyment. Though the Cradle of Filth influence could've potentially been a good thing (after all, I am a proud fan of Dani Filth & co.), the poor production and soulless songwriting cripple any positive aspects of the release. Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends simply doesn't convey any of the bone-chilling atmospheres that I can expect when listening to a Cradle of Filth album, and the end result sounds more like an amateurish imitation than a recommendable listening experience.

I've been quite disappointed by Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends, especially considering the strength of Ancient's previous two albums. When it comes to gothic-tinged black metal, atmospheres and authenticity are key - effectively transporting the listener to a bleak, dystopian world is essential, and making it seem entirely genuine is every bit as important. Neither of these things are successfully fulfilled on Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends, and the result is an album that sounds goofy and amateurish rather than frighteningly dark and convincingly powerful. Though I've yet to acquaint myself with later Ancient albums, I hope this was more of a one-album fluke than a trend for their future releases; in complete honesty, this is not a good album in any sense of the word. 2 stars are the most I can give here.

J-Man | 2/5 |

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