without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I will start off by saying I demand a full length album from these guys immediately.
I'm usually not very into EPs, but this one is quite lengthy and has a lot to offer, and definitely demonstrates that Ancient Wind are soon to be a blackened force of metal to be reckoned with. The music is a very comfortable mix of thrash, black metal and melodic death metal. Most of the the latter comes from the vocals--Rob's attack is very reminiscent of bands like Amon Amarth. That range is definitely his comfort zone, but he also gets his higher pitched black-thrash attack on when he needs to. His lyrical concepts often deal with Norse mythology and other subjects fitting of the atmosphere of this music, and to great effect.
The drumming is top notch. It takes a special kind of drummer to be able to handle the more fluid and rough sound these guys have with class--a lesser drummer would simply sound sloppy, whereas Ancient Wind's man behind the kit sounds polished and inventive.
The guitar work definitely is the backbone of the music. While there is some great lead playing, the numerous riffs that assault you bar after bar are really what keep me coming back to "Blackened Battle Metal" for more. There is a great range of melody, brutality, technicality, and all around just interesting design in the riffs and structures of the songs that really encapsulate the more diverse type of Black-Thrash Ancient Wind have to offer.
it should also be noted that, in addition to being absurdly epic and competent, Ancient Wind are absurdly fun. If their music videos tell you anything, it is that while these guys may have a very dramatic sound, they are anything but dramatic and overly serious. They know how to place their tongues firmly in their cheeks and have fun first and foremost. I've seen this band criticized for it and can't possibly understand why you would look down on a band that not only is extremely competent in their craft, but isn't so serious that they forget that music is supposed to be entertaining and enjoyable.
Overall, Ancient Wind have made a promising start with "Blackened Battle Metal" and I can't wait to hear a full length composition. These songs already show that they can expertly craft longer songs without running out of ideas, and can draw the listener into a bleak and melodic atmosphere rampaging with Vikings destroying each other... and four metal heads drinking, goofing off and having a good time while doing so.