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Ansur Warring Factions album cover
3.80 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Tunguska Incident (8:45)
2. Sierra Day (5:53)
3. Phobos Anomaly (6:20)
4. An Exercise In Depth )Of Field (12:16)
5. At His Wit's End (7:59
6. Cloudscaper (7:42)
7. Prime Warring Eschatologist (12:39)

Total Time: 61:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Espen A.R. Aulie / vocals
- Torstein J. Nipe / guitars, bass, keyboards
- Glenn G.A. Ferguson / drums & percussion

Releases information

CD Nocturnal Art/Candlelight (2008)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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ANSUR Warring Factions ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ANSUR Warring Factions reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ansur is a trio that stems from Norway, the land of black-metal. Ansur didn't break with the tradition on their debuts. However, with 'Warring factions', their second album, we can notice a clear transition towards more eclectic musical directions, encompassing jazz-rock, old-school prog (hammong organs) but also neo-prog (keyboards and guitar work on "sierra day"), soul, avant-garde, space-rock, funk, and even country-rock on one song. The metal of their debut is still present but more elaborate, with many shifting rhythms, prog-metal vein. Vocals are sung in the black/death-metal style (and this is probably the only weak point of this record), but the pace is rather slow, and aggressive passages alternate with lighter ones. This album is truly impressive and showcases the virtuosity of each other, their extensive musical knowledge, and their ability to incorporate in their music so many different styles with ease and avoiding the stylistic composition. None of the songs follows a single musical direction. The opening and closing theme of "cloudscaper" is a rendition of the main theme of James Bond film 'Diamonds are forever'. The last song ends majestically with an obvious wink to the music of Iron Maiden (the leading theme begins with a piano/guitar duo then hammond organ makes the transition to a guitar/bass/drums that recalls the good old compositions of the masters of british heavy metal). Hopefully the sudden change of direction in their music will not create divisions in the band. Moreover, taken into account their young age and the host of influences (Brian Eno, Rush, Voivod, Dream Theater, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Reuben Wilson, Spyro Gyra, Iron Maiden, Pat Metheny, Pink Floyd, Egberto Gismonti, Wishbone Ash, Marillion, Albert Lee, Arcturus), one can only expect further gems from this band in the future.
Review by Negoba
2 stars Talented Kids Dive off the Indulgent End

Norwegian upstart Ansur's debut AXIOM was a promising, if rough, piece of work that I really enjoyed (see review). When I saw the beautiful cover of the follow-up WARRING FACTIONS, I was extremely excited to see where the band had gone. Alas, the prog-black metal is gone and in its place is something truly amazing?the end of the quest to pack as many genres into one album as possible. Having clearly listened to Between the Buried and Me's COLORS way too many times, the band moves into a straighter metal basis to launch into a "Everything including the kitchen sink and that thing you wring out the mop with in the basement" approach that is a big disappointment after the potential I heard in the debut.

The basic sound here is power metal with a lot of progressive elements, and is over half instrumental. But through the album we get an extended country hoedown, dance music, ethereal ambient passages, and virtually every style ever attached to metal. The song "An Exercise in Depth of Field" explains exactly what the intention was. The band does a passable, in fact interesting, job in each style, but what happened to the songs? With style changes happening so frequently, the entire album washes together into one big genre- mash. There is supposed to be a conceptual story line, but the vocal passages are painful and separated by so much noodling that there is little motivation to keep track of it.

One thing has improved by light years ? the production. The guitar tone is less amateurish, the mix is more unified, the effects are less overwhelming. What's more, the guitar playing is very impressive. In fact, this whole album seems like a prodigy guitarist with no direction to go. Restrained on the debut with flashes of brilliance, on the follow-up the term "self- indulgent" is an understatement. The talent of string slinger Torstein Nipe and crew is never in doubt. (Well, bassist Espen Aulie's vocals are atrocious, especially unaffected as they are on this album. The idea to over-process on AXIOM was smart.)

I applaud the band's attempt to evolve. But if they truly want to create their own sound (as per their promotion materials) they'll need to look back at what worked in their debut album. Good prog-goth-black is not that common. Good vocals in that genre are almost nil. Thank something for Garm. But songwriting is where the band needs to look hardest at itself.

And I hope they do. There is plenty of talent in this band, and plenty of potential. But unless you're just looking for audacious intensity in the form of genre-bending, get AXIOM.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Crazy Norwegians, what are they gonna do next? The real reason which got me into this band was the artwork for this album. It was just so attractive. But yea, this album and this band does confuse me a little. At times it's hard to determine really what they are trying to achieve, but afte ... (read more)

Report this review (#299341) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now this album kinda confused me at the start, it really took about 3-4 proper listens to fully grasp this album, Ansur are an incredibly talented progressive metal band from Norway, with elements of 70's progressive rock, black metal, extreme/tech metal, jam band, countryish rock and even just p ... (read more)

Report this review (#282095) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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