Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ancestors Blood`s "A Moment of Clarity" Reviewed

Ancient, Matured Ones

What do you get when you mix true passion for your roots and culture with musical mastery and an almost endemic expertise to make Metal at its purest and rawest? You get Ancestors Blood, which in their second full length have once again accomplished the mission of putting the echoes of Finnish forests into sound waves. In "A Moment of Clarity", The Pagan Black Metal act manages to show a latent maturation comparing to their previous album, at the same time that they keep faithful to the traditions of the style they've been practicing for 10 years, paying a legitimate tribute to their pagan beliefs and some of their counterparts - both early Satyricon and Dimmu Borgir. 

Opening the album there's a three minute intro, and while there are many people who tend to dislike long atmospheric introductions, I assure you that this is one of those good cases when an intro perfectly fits its purpose at placing the listener in the correct environment and mood to what is going to happen. And what happens next is great, majestic Black Metal molded inside heathen forges. One of the 5 members of the band, keyboardist E. H. plays a very important role in creating the aforementioned environment of coldness and ancient memories. The keyboard arrangements and harmonic incursions always contribute decisively to the whole aspect of the songs, proving that the chosen effects and tone were correct options. This becomes evident in the epic "Legend of the Horizon", where at the 8 minute mark there is an absolutely majestic instrumental section of tremendous beauty and portent guided by the synthesizers. However, in some moments the music here turns out to be simply raw, surly Black Metal, and that's why everything would be ruined if the other instruments didn't make a difference. From the intro to the outro, this album is a collection of Pagan anthems filled with varied rhythmic sections, symbiotic bass guitar and drums, reverberating screams and growls and highly distorted, ferocious guitar riffs, never letting the record fall into homogeneous ostracism. A good example of the abilities of the band at coming up with diverse songs is the enigmatic "From the Ruins", which bears 5 minutes of constant rhythmic variations, experiments with different time signatures, chainsaw-like guitar riffs and memorable melodies. By the way, among the many characteristics this band deserves to be highly praised for is their dexterity at creating melodies endowed with true Black Metal spirit, but not losing any aspect of melodic beauty. 

One of the things that got me plenty satisfied with was the overall production of the record, this time in charge of the band themselves. Everyone knows that in most Old School Black Metal records the bass guitar suffers a lot by staying hidden behind the wall of brute riffs and fast, claustrophobic drumming. This is not the case, as the guys managed to balance every instrument with the voices generating a monolithic and surrounding ambience. Also, the drums sound fat in the mix, thanks to the low tuning of the snare and the bass drum. 

I couldn't avoid mentioning the cover art, which caught my attention due to its dark concept. Actually, choosing beautiful covers has been something typical for Ancestors Blood, and I'm sure this one will look fantastic when they release the LP version of the record, scheduled for later this year.

"Rising from the outskirts of the Southernmost pits of Brazil, Daniel Seimetz allies with the phallanx of HeavyHardMetalMania to help maintain the flag of Metal high on the mast of extreme existence." "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!"

Ancestors Blood
1. Intro
2. Legend Of The Horizon
3. Ancestors Blood (Part II)
4. From the ruins… 
5. A Moment Of Clarity 
6. Ritual Of The Sacred Dance
7. Puu IƤnikuinen
8. Outro

Raud - Vocals, Guitar
E. H. - Keyboards
Pyromaniac - Drums
Thorgaunt – Bass, vocals
D. G. - Lead guitars
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