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Maeglin / Ancient North – Summoned From Nexion [Split]

maeglin / ancient north – summoned from nexion [split]

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Maeglin is a relatively new Black Metal act from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, but although they have been formed in January 2022, the band already spawned an impressive discography of nearly fifteen titles with this split tape being one their latest titles. But despite the rather large output, none of the previous releases have been featured on our VM-Underground pages. Ancient North on the other hand, has seen all of its releases covered. This one-man act has a similar working pace, offering three full-length albums and one EP in less than a year, yet this is Ancient North’s first split release.

Maeglin opens the split with three tracks of fantasy-based (Maeglin happens to be an elf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion) Black Metal. I am not saying I have heard all of the band’s previous material, but I can’t say I have been very impressed by what I’ve heard. And, frankly, the band’s contribution to this split is no exception to that impression. Just like the earlier recordings, at least those that I have heard, this again is rather simple Melodic Black Metal. It is heavily laced with very cheap sounding keyboards, poor drums and substandard vocals, to top things off the production is also pretty flat and clinical, making this quite another underwhelming experience.

The other four tracks are Ancient North’s. This too is an act that is a bit hit and miss. The band’s debut album, released by Iron Bonehead Productions sounded way too standard and overall dissatisfying. But after that, each of the subsequent releases turned out to have a completely different sound and identity, which makes the band hard to pinpoint. Which in a certain way, is quite intriguing, but it is also making it rather difficult to get into the band’s musical visions. On these four tracks, how could it be any different, Ancient North again sounds a little different from the preceding ‘Altior Philosophia’-album. But the step Barak “Forlorn” Daniels takes this time is not all that big. The music is still based on Norwegian Black Metal, though, and the Pagan feel of the previous album has clearly not disappeared. The biggest difference is that it all sounds a bit more organic here and, surprisingly though, the rocking nature of the ‘Berzerker’ EP can also be heard again. That rocking vibe doesn’t emerge as strongly as on that EP, but a certain Urgehal/Taake vibe is definitely discernible. So what Forlorn showcases here holds the middle ground between old Thyrfing and Einherjer on the one hand and Taake and Urgehal on the other. This certainly makes for an interesting result and it may even be counted as the best Ancient North material to date, and, needless to say, many times better than Maeglin.

Maeglin

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