Sunday, July 3, 2011
Get Into: The Ancient's Rebirth
In 1998 The Ancient's Rebirth (awkward name, huh?) released a strange EP called Damnated Hell's Arrival (whoa, even more awkward!). Like Sorhin and Necrophobic, they played a brand of Swedish black metal heavily influenced by the riffiness of death metal.
Now I know what you're thinking: "Oh, like Dissection, right?" No, not so much. I love Dissection, but I actually prefer the lesser-known (and more aggressive) bands from their musical genepool. The Ancients couldn't care less about Dissection's Metallica-style hooks. Instead, they weave a disorienting web of harmonized leads over a barrage of hyperspeed blastbeats. Rather than drawing power from repetition, as is traditional for black metal, they pull riff upon golden riff out of their collective ass. Dude, there are so many riffs. It's inhuman. But these Swedes are demons, not machines. Every song is spontaneous, rough, and full of anger.
The downside to the Ancients' technical flashiness is that the songs don't always have compelling structures. 8 to 10 minutes of mind-blowing riff salad is very cool while it's happening, but leaves me wanting something a little more. I chose "Times To Come Are Frozen" because it's concise and well-structured. Definitely my favorite track on the EP.
Actually, I lied. My REAL favorite is their ripping cover of Kreator's "Flag of Hate." I wanted to post it, but it's not on Youtube. It's hard to live up to the pure sickness of Kreator, but these guys more than pull it off. For me, their interpretation has replaced the original as the definitive version of the song. It's faithful to the spirit of Kreator, only more so. Fuck. Did I just say that? Yes, I did.
This EP was clearly a leap into new territory for the band, and it's a shame that they never got a chance to iron out their songwriting (it was their last recording). Check back in the next week or two for a longer review of their only full-length, Drain The Portal In Blood. I've only heard one track so far, but it sounds like more of a traditional Norwegian kind of thing. My expectations are high.