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Ancient - The Cainian Chronicle CD (album) cover

THE CAINIAN CHRONICLE

Ancient

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.67 | 5 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
2 stars Ancient were one of those "Me too!" bands that popped up once the whole Norwegian black metal wave was really cooking. Following in the growing symphonic trends at the time, along with the usual shrieks, blastbeat sections and tremelo riffs, there's an abundance of keyboard usage for atmospheric effect, occasional female vocals and some folksy sections. All par for the course, which would be fine if Ancient were exceptional at what they did. That just isn't the case. Despite having song titles divided into "parts" and some pretty long tracks, this collection of tunes is pretty much standard mid nineties symphonic black metal that's certainly listenable with a decent production and occasional epic feel, but nothing to set them apart or approach the status of the more renowned names of the genre.

They were certainly ambitious, filling up this disc with over an hour's worth of music, including a silly interlude (sounding like some pagan rite performance art) and some epic length tracks that really have no reason to be so long. Talentwise, the musicians seem competent enough for what the songwriting entails, but don't go expecting any technical antics. The songs themselves have moments where riffs get close to being memorable and powerful, but those tides soon ebb as fast as they came. The album gets into a decent stride towards the end with the last two tracks (particularly The Pagan Cycle) in which the band finally seem to hit their stride, but getting there can be a chore.

The music here isn't terrible by genre standards whatsoever, it's just completely redundant of other acts that had more of an identity or creative edge to them. Ancient always came across to me a bandwagon jumper in a sense, wanting to be part of the big party but not bringing any presents, desserts or drinks along. Another one of those groups from the heyday of the black metal's second wave lost in a sea of corpsepaint.

Prog Sothoth | 2/5 |

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