ANCESTRAL – MASTER OF FATE (Iron Shield Records)

Review by Sloof: Wonderful moments, moments of joy, that’s how I would like to describe the second album of Ancestral from Sicily, Italy! The Power Metal with a modern approach delivered me so many hours of entertainment with a top notch product. Ancestral started in 1999 and released a few demo’s and a single, followed by their debut album “The Ancient Curse” in 2007. Some might recall the ‘Eleanore Rigby’ cover from The Beatles (which can be found on the debut album of US Thrash outfit Realm as well), but for most of you, this Italian Power Metal monster will be unknown.

Shame on you, as Ancestral is capable in a lot of things! The musical part of this band is outstanding and beyond the average in this genre. Secondly, the vocals of Jo Lombardo sound really great and there’s no Italian accent or annoying timbre. Mix these two elements together and you get a bombastic album full of surprises. Some moments, I noticed Jag Panzer (Harry Conklin) influences, but there are also Domine (Morby) and ex-After All (Sammy Peleman) influences when Jo’s reaching for the higher regions.

“Master Of Fate” contains 10 tracks with a total duration of 55 minutes and it’s one of the best releases on Iron Shield Records to date. From starter ‘Back To Life’ with a very direct approach to the killer song ‘From Beyond’, we get a survey of quality, passion and dedication. There is a wonderful instrumental track ‘Refuge Of Souls’ on this album, and excitement and passion is present all the way. Really great breaks, outstanding pace and interesting approaches is how I would describe this masterpiece. This one indicates that music without lyrics can be grandiose when executed well.   Halfway the track we hear the bass of Domiziano Mendolia in his own personal moment, followed by powerful drums of Massimiliano Mendolia (twin brothers in arms!). Fans of Gus Drax and his band Sunburst will hear similarities with the track ‘Beyond The Darkest Sun’ where the guitars have excellent moments as well.

Only the final track ‘Savage’ (cover from Helloween) is a bit too simple in arrangement if you compare it with the other, own, material of the band. Ancestral is a band that has a good view on melody and power, on aggression and interesting choruses, on the best from decades ago and with a clear vision on the future! Ancestral official homepage: http://www.ancestral.it/ 

My rating: 87/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

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