Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives

Message board

* FAQ    * Search   * Register   * Login 



Reply to topic
Author Message Previous topic | Next topic
Smoking_Gnu
Chicago Favorite

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
Posts: 2722
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:02 am 
 

A lot of people know Ancient Rites as a solid-if-nothing-extraordinary Belgian black metal group that eventually moved down the symphonic route. However, in 2006 they displayed a very surprising change in style with Rvbicon.

The best way to describe the album is a sort of weird symphonic/folk/power metal hybrid, but it doesn't sound like anything that would come into my head when I hear that label. The riffing flirts between a mixture of middle-eastern and Romanesque melodies with traditional power metal backing rhythms, while the occasional horn and flute samples also have an "ancient Mediterranean" sound. Most notable is lead singer Gunther's vocals; he performs almost the entire album with a sort of sneering baritone sing-songy narration, similar to Byron of Bal-Sagoth when he's not doing straight narrations. It lends a very theatrical tone to the music, as if he's some omniscient oracle narrating the great battles of ancient history.

Basically, Rvbicon stands out to me because I've never heard anything that has quite the same combination of elements. Sure, some bands have done the middle-eastern/ancient Rome power metal sound, but they've never done it with the occasional black metal touches to the riffing and drumwork, or the focus on the folk-side of ancient Rome (the extensive horn and flute use) instead of cliched string chords. Though I don't listen to power metal quite as much anymore, I've always had a fond spot for it due its uniqueness and a bit of personal nostalgia (I listened the shit out of it when I first went to college.) I've never seen much discussion about in on the boards or in reviews, so I was hoping to see if anyone else had discovered this great album, or if I could turn anyone else on to it.


_________________
failsafeman wrote:
In fairness though, a giant ball of cow dung is a hell of a conversation-starter.

Top
 Profile  
Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10261
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:14 pm 
 

I never saw this album as a sudden stylistic change. THis is just the way they were heading sinceFatherland. I never got into this one though, despite the previous two having their moments. Maybe I should give it another try someday.
_________________
Hush! and hark
To the sorrowful cry
Of the wind in the dark.
Hush and hark, without murmur or sigh,
To shoon that tread the lost aeons:
To the sound that bids you to die.

Top
 Profile  
Smoking_Gnu
Chicago Favorite

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
Posts: 2722
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:24 pm 
 

I suppose the change might be more prominent in terms of completely dropping any kind of growls or shrieks save for a few seconds on Templar. I will admit the only other AR I've heard in its entirety (i.e., not youtube clips, etc) is Dim Carcosa, which seemed to be a much more traditional symphonic black metal approach - I actually saw it recommended on another forum to fans of Bal-Sagoth.

Also, during that part in the title track with the chant of "Sie das morgenrot im austen," I always heard "See the Spartan lords in Boston," which made me think of that bit in Meet the Spartans where Leonidas and co. are drinking Starbucks.
_________________
failsafeman wrote:
In fairness though, a giant ball of cow dung is a hell of a conversation-starter.

Top
 Profile  
TheAntagonist
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:55 am
Posts: 806
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:26 pm 
 

"Mother Europe" was always one of my favorite tracks by Ancient Rites. Great band indeed. I know i have Rvbicon but i don't think i ever really took the time to explore it very well. Will definitely have to go back and revisit it.
_________________
"You are the civil man dying for a Promised Land
I live in the wilderness to avoid human emptiness"

Windir - Resurrection of the Wild

Top
 Profile  
Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10261
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:30 pm 
 

I think I'm thankful I never watched that Meet the Spartans movie. :lol:

The vocals may be different but Ancient Rites' music has really been more heavy/power metal based for a logn time. Sure, there's the odd single-note tremolo riff buzzing around on Fatherland but it's always quickly replaced by storming power chords and melodious leadwork.

I do see the comparison with Bal-Sagoth with all the proud and lush keyboards, something else they started on Fatherland. Dim Carcosa was the last album I listened to regularly. It's been years since I heard that, too, but I still remember certain passages with fondness. The keys were actually really well done on that one, too. In general though I thought the band was losing something good by dispensing with their darker, heavier music.
_________________
Hush! and hark
To the sorrowful cry
Of the wind in the dark.
Hush and hark, without murmur or sigh,
To shoon that tread the lost aeons:
To the sound that bids you to die.

Top
 Profile  
299796kms
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 311
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:57 pm 
 

A huge AR fan and I found Rvbicon to be a letdown. I really wanted to like it, Dim Carcosa and Fatherland are two of my favourite albums ever, and the live album is really good, something I don't say too often. I'd agree with Abom that they lost something when they went more melodic and ditched the growls. I don't mean to sound like some anal retentive purist, but they lost something there. I quite like the song Ypres, but that's more because I'm a huge history buff and WW1 is one of my favourite eras, even visited there a few years back.
_________________
iamntbatman wrote:
Umm....Van Drunen is clearly sexier than any Kardashian.

Top
 Profile  
Vintersorrow
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:59 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Slovenia
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:39 pm 
 

Diabolical Serenades is where it's at for me.

Top
 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bloodycumshit, Diamhea, Unorthodox, Yahoo [Bot] and 19 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

 
Jump to:  

Back to the Encyclopaedia Metallum


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group