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The first music of Necromantia I heard was their debut album "Crossing the Fiery Path" (which I reviewed as well) and it didn't get me too excited. Sure, it was obscure and had an original concept (the dual basses) but the songwriting was chaotic and while the aforementioned concept was indeed very good, it wasn't executed too well.
But just recently, I read about "Ancient Pride" on the internet and decided to give it a try. Damn, was I blown away by it. "Ancient Pride" takes all the ingredients of "Crossing the Fiery Path" and mixes them almost perfectly. One of the main problems on the latter album was the riffing. While it was indeed strong at parts, the lack of guitar was apparent. This has changed here. The two basses create an awesome flow and a fantastic low-end sound that makes "Ancient Pride" catchy and pretty damn heavy for a Black Metal album. The riffs shine and manage to create the typical mediterran atmosphere. Some great solos can be found on the album, executed by both the guitars and the 8-string bass.
My version of the EP has the 4 main tracks (Shaman, Ancient Pride, For the Light of my Darkness and Each Dawn I Die) as well as the bonus track "Spiritforms of the Psychomancer". I heard there's also a Iron Maiden cover on a version of this EP, but I wasn't able to get it yet. All four main tracks are very strong, but the most complex is definitely the title track. It features large amounts of keyboards, a great vocal mix (Magus' typical but great shriek and some very nice clean chanting) as well as acoustic guitars. The part after the acoustic break even sounds like a more sinister Viking-era Bathory.
The fifth track "Spiritforms of the Psychomancer" has some fantastic acoustics but isn't as strong as the rest overall. Well, for a bonus track, it's still pretty damn good.
The whole EP manages to combine sinister Greek Black Metal with some folky parts similar to Satyricon's "Dark Medieval Times" and Viking-era bathory "epic-ness". An awesome mix of emotions, all combined in 27 minutes.
I recommend this to all fans of Black Metal, especially to those who are as fond of the Greek scene as I am.
Highlights: All, especially "Ancient Pride"