ANCIENT BARDS – ORIGINE-The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2 (Limb Music/Suburban)

Review by Officer Nice: Lately I am into those Italian mob series on Netflix. I really adore them and the entire atmosphere the film makers created is spectacular. On a news show I saw a documentary about the real mafia in Napoli, saying the youth is taking over the drugs scène from the Godfathers. What is bizarre about the mafia is the fact that such Catholic and believing people can kill so easily. It seems they can easily mix the ancient, medieval and baroque culture of Italy on the one side with the modern world on the other. A bizarre but interesting story, no? It fascinates me anyway. The reason I am mention Italy is because in my hands I have the new Ancient Bards. They have nothing to do with the mafia but I suppose fans of European oriented Power Metal know this band is heading from out of the boot of Europe.

This isn’t of course the first product of this Bombastic and Symphonic Power Metal band, that have been compared with Rhapsody (Of Fire) in the past. Musical wise there are plenty of reasons to compare both bands but Ancient Bards have Sara Squadrani (what a beauty!) as their front woman and Simone Bertozzi is responsible for the grunts and growls. That makes the songs sound different, makes Ancient Bards a band with an own direction. The grunts on this release are not used constantly and therefore they fit this album as well.

All over you will hear rather spectacular arrangements, full of fast fingered leads and keyboards. The songs are full of hooks, shredding guitars and pompous choirs are a brand. Lots of riffs reminds me to the good old Nightwish days. It makes this entire album sound bombastic and a bit baroque. It fits this band perfectly, because they’re able to deliver the listener different moods. Sara Squadrani really contains a beautiful clear voice and is giving this over talented band that extra touch, it is no coincidence she was part of the latest Ayreon album.

Overall this band is able to deliver pretty impressive epic and melodic Metal. Without any doubts this album should please fans of bands like Nightwish, Rhapsody, Sonata Arctica, Twilight Force etc… Maybe the biggest successful years of this kind of Metal are over but that doesn’t matter. I know there are still a lot of fans out there and Ancient Bards delivers with “Origine” something that could or should interest the fans of this kind of Metal.

It isn’t always that easy to find the red line in the songs, no matter how much skills are represented to the listener. That makes it a bit a difficult album, as above at some points the band mixes genres as well, what makes this release even a bit more complex. This sounds a bit like ‘soundtrack’ Metal, clearly influenced by the rich culture of Italy. After all it is a good release, one you can check on http://www.ancientbards.com

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

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