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Stunning. - 89%

Corimngul, March 30th, 2005

Fatherland is an absolutely stunning album. From the opening instrumental, an atmospheric intro that I feel I’ve heard before in classical music or a movie soundtrack somewhere, but can’t really remember, through the thrashier top songs Mother Europe, Aris & Fatherland, onto the more black-based songs, it’s an incredible experience.

Ancient Rites weave their progressive black / viking sound together using so many elements. The atmosphere, the nationalistic spirit is always present. They mix the harder stuff with symphonic parts nicely, no marked breakdowns in sight. They’ve given about every song three or four AMAZING, breathtaking state-of-the-art guitar solos. They aren’t downtuned. Instead of following the custom Ancient Rites put guitars with heavy metal tuning into their sound, lifting it a lot, both spiritually and musically.

The vocalist Günther does some amazing, snarling growls but the band should probably look elsewhere if they plan doing clean vocals again. He’s not exactly bad, though he sings with a lot of emotion he also sings with a lot of mediocrity. Better look at the music. That’ll cheer us up. There’s a lot of bass to the sound, and it’s in the foreground. Good thing. Still the innovative compositions are the best thing. If you can put darkness, melody, and atmosphere together and still make it progressive, creative and kick-ass, then you’re most probably a member of Ancient Rites already.