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How Many Influences! - 88%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, June 13th, 2008

On the main page of this band here on Metal-Archives, there’s written “Death Metal” for the genre that should be played by this band, but I think that it doesn’t fit in well. Others said it was melodic death metal and here we come closer but it’s not enough to me because here we find an incredible mix of moments and influences can go from death metal to black metal and progressive.

It is very hard to describe the genre that we can find here on this “Anthems Of Ancient Splendour”. Anyway, I try to show you the main characteristics of this excellent and truly original band. First of all, if you search for impact, you should have already understood that this album is not about it, or better, not completely. The intro, made of piano parts, ends in the first song that already shows a blend of death and black parts that are never too fast. They point a lot on the melody and there are several melodic breaks where the piano parts are again audible, perfectly balanced with typical Swedish restarts that are faster, to then return to the melody.

The vocals follow the traces of the music, because they change so often from growl to shriek and there are even changes in these two ways of singing. Sometimes the tonality is different, passing through Abbath’s style shrieks to death metal growls. Sometimes there are big influences from doom/death metal genre like in the following “Fallen Winter” that slowly crawls through arpeggios and semi depressive riffs. The restarts are always sudden and astonishing because they change completely the patterns and sometimes they can support even gothic oriented parts.

I’m not joking when I say that this is one of the most or even the most various albums I’ve ever listened to in extreme metal. The production is perfect because not too clean but heavy and powerful to exalt perfectly the melodies by the guitars and the synth. The progressive parts are mostly recognizable in “Immemorial Iced Lake” for the arpeggios but after we change again from thrash to death/black. Anyway, I think that is useless to describe each song because it will be too difficult. There are so many influences…

There are even some blast beats that, incredibly, fit perfectly in some parts that could justify a more mid paced approach. The technique level, for those who haven’t understood yet, is very high and it’s normal when you play this mix of genres. Overall, I recommend this album to anyone who wants to hear a band full of class and inspiration. It’s normal that the most open minded people among you will like it more than the others but me too I liked it and I consider myself quite narrow-minded.