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Interesting - 80%

AdNoctum, May 24th, 2005

Ancient is a band that is frequently criticized for both its music and its 'gay' image, but despite that, the band of vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Aphazel has never reached ‘the absolute zero’. On the contrary; especially the first few Ancient releases contain high quality black metal and the compilation album ‘Det Glemte Riket’ - also the title for the band’s first single – proves this. It features early and rare recordings by Ancient, including the ‘Det Glemte Riket’ single (1994) and the ‘Trolltaar’ EP (1995).
The music from ‘Trolltaar’ can be described as cold sounding, rather varied black metal with very nice, raw vocals. Sometimes it seems like the musicians want to show off a bit and that makes the music a bit tasteless here and there (listen to the intro of “Nattens Skjonnhet”, for example), but the majority of the music is just good. The tracks from ‘Det Glemte Riket’ have that same cold atmosphere, but this time there’s no showing off. This results in two great black metal songs, of which especially “Det Glemte Riket” is worth listening. Three previously unreleased tracks remain, of which the first one, “Paa Evig Vandring”, is interesting enough (to me anyway) to be mentioned: the song was recorded during the sessions for the first Ancient demo ‘Eerily Howling Winds’ and shows that Aphazel already in his ‘early days’ knew how to create the right sound. For those among us who want to explore the black metal of the early 90s (or the history of Ancient, of course) is ‘Det Glemte Riket’ a must-have.