Monday, February 11, 2013

Ancient Reign - Of Moonlights Glare (EP)

Hey guys, here is a new review by my new member of TF Zine! Check his review out. ~D

It has been some time since I have actually done a feasible review, especially one on an underground act such as this. I must admit, I have been out of touch with a lot of music lately so I have had little time to unearth new acts or projects for my listening pleasure. So to speak, this will be a review on the 2013 EP "Of Moonlights Glare" from Candian Black Metal band Ancient Reign.

I'm not all that familiar with this act, mostly as stated before I been out of the loop now for a few years. Ancient Reign is a folk black metal band from Halifax, Canada back in 2007. Apparently they released a small demo that was released under limited press but they have not released much until just recently. As I have found though, these Canadian acts truly know how to craft their art.

In many of ways, Ancient Reign reminds me if bands like Trollech, Nokturnal Mortum, Volh, and Svartby. The guitar riffing on this release is raw in essence but very clear and audible compared to many underground acts in the genre that have erupted onto the scene as of late. The riffs are heavy and somewhat punkish in its underlining feel, but there is a constant shift from that "main" opener riff into much more majestic and melodic folky melodies and tunes that truly has the listener being sucked in to the songs. Nothing here is original by any means, but unlike some of the bands mentioned before except excluding a few, Ancient Reign has an odd way of sucking the listener into each song. There are a heavy use of keyboard work and synths utilizing the breadth of the folk melodies and replicating the traditional folk instruments typically used or synthesized by bands in this genre. The melodies are very well done and don't over play there welcome. Which is refreshing in a genre that either becomes monotonous by design or acts that never allow a certain riff or melody to truly develope. Ancient Reign shows that they can write a song with competent song structuring not always found in underground black metal projects/bands.

Back to production values, everything in this release is audible and crystal clear, only failing so in the drum department. I'm not saying the drums are absent or inaudible, but a lot of bands I have found in this genre to put more emphasis on the guitars and synths and putting the drums and bass further into the mix, which by no means is a bad thing. In many ways I enjoy It more so because of the uncanny and difficult nature to record a drum kit...sometimes sounding like shit on a low if recording. Other bands or solo acts just opt out all together and use a drum machine. However the drums are fairly well done and match the music well. Nothing can be more more annoying then having super fast blast beats during a segment that just doesn't find compatibility for the style. Everything on this release just fits well in the mix overall.

Out of all the songs, the first track (not the intro track) "The Arrival" and the last track "Winter's Reign" were my favorites. Many a reason because these two for me stood out the most. the Arrival being the longest track on the EP and utilizing far more variety in the composition, even the use of acoustics take a decent portion if the overall length of the song, and its use of synths just truly added to that nice folky sound that I have come to love . The latter song being much shorter but of average length has solid riffing, and some good melodies that gets one into the song. I fairly enjoyed the entire album. My only problem with the release being the two songs in the middle, "Of Moonlights Glare" the title track just being way too short and its over before you know it. The follow up song however, "Through Forests Eternal" is a much better song. Using some good folky riffing that comes off as a more melodic and audible version of Graveland and even utilizes some good low guttural growls weaved into the mix in unison with the black metal raspy shrieks. The more I listen to the track, i find it to be just as good as my two favorites from the album. It's the title track that falls short and is easily a passable track.

For fans of blackened folk metal or folky black metal akin to bands I mentioned then check out Ancient Reign. They don't try anything very unique here on this release but it still comes as refreshing in a saturated genre.

For those of you out there looking for a numerical score, I really don't score by numerical grade. I'm not one to "rate" or score. I'm going to articulate to some degree on the pros and cons....and I sayith unto thee...check out this fucking band NOW!!!

By Munnin

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