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Ancient – Night Visit

ancient – night visit


Ancient. A band that has been loved and hated by many. Though, it is a band with a long history, emerging from the wealthy metal grounds of Norway. The first few releases were in the vein of what is said to be “True Norwegian Black metal”, though the last few CDs have been released with a slightly different sound and twists. Each CD they moved further away from their roots – yet they still kept their raw and black metal edge. A problem with the last few CDs was that they lacked that little ‘something’ that keeps a record going. But they were too good to ignore. Let’s say they had their moments. Another problem was that they were too stuffed and many of the songs were just mere mediocre. Since “Proxima Centauri” (man, it has already been three years since) there were some changes in the Ancient camp, Deadly Kristin left the band for instance – a face that has been in the band for about seven years.

New record, new chances. First thing that attracts the attention is the amount of songs, just eight new songs (and an additional two bonus tracks), so gone is the very lengthy song-after-song concept. And in the first spin it is already clear to me that this is a good record, and unmistakable Ancient. The MP3 preview on our website showed me already a glimpse from this new record with “Rape The Children Of Abel”. They took one of the highlights of the album to get this album selling, the great mixture of blackmetal with a thrashy and heavymetal twist works pretty fine and this is one of my favourite tracks from the album. But, they can’t keep it going for the whole album, and that is something that is a missed chance of course. All songs sound a little different – some songs got a more rock and roll feel over it, like “Horroble” and “Lycanthrophy” for instance. This gives me a hard time to get into the songs for the overall atmosphere just simply isn’t there. It misses the atmosphere that is so very important in this kind of music. But this album has got a lot of highlights to enjoy as well, like the aforementioned “Rape The Children Of Abel” where guest vocalist Lord Kaiaphas sounds pretty much like Immortal’s Abbath, the great atmospheric “Night Of The Stygian Souls”. But on the other hand, the two bonus tracks detracts even more of the ongoing atmosphere for they are instrumental and don’t make too much sense to me.

Conclusion, a nice album with some great highlights but also a lot of weaker spots. I am sure that many Ancient fans will like this – like me – but we have to be reasonable. In these times of overkill I am not sure whether they are still able to stand within this enormous flood of bands hunting the scene. Still I will keep playing this album for a lot of times, like I do with all Ancient albums – and fact is, you have to grow into each Ancient album.