ANCIENT BARDS - A NEW DAWN ENDING (Limb Music)
Ancient Bards? Yes, I have heard the band several times on the Internet before although this isn’t my typical style of music. It’s called officially Symphonic Epic Metal but what’s in a name anyway. The facts are that they are heading from Italy and that might be a typical country for this kind of music, no? Rhapsody Of Fire is at least the leading band in this genre and they are from the booth of Europe. Ancient Bards is on the other hand too experienced to keep them comparing with Rhapsody Of Fire, so let’s mention this band no more… Ancient Bards deserves more!
Anyway this is the third album of the band and it closes a concept which started with the very first release. Master brain behind this band is Daniele Mazza, keyboard player who was able to find schooled musicians to start this band in 2007. When a band has more than 27.000 likes on its Facebook that means something and that shows that the previous albums were liked by many. No wonder when you see the band is led by a female called Sara Squadrani although this can never be the main reason of the popularity. It’s a fact that female voices are popular since several years, in Belgium we even have a specific Festival for this kind of bands. Ancient Bards has more to offer than just some good looks on stage, they are fronted by a woman that already worked with the Arjen Lucassen from Ayreon and that means she has to be talented, no?
With the new album Ancient Bards delivers a product that can be mentioned as ‘high qualitative’. The arrangements are impressive and so is the production. Working with choirs, with bombastic samples that are weaved into the songs, it makes an album sound overwhelming. This is a wall of impressions that blows through the speakers and no one can deny that this band worked hard to create this. This formation contains first class musicians and that can easily be heard when you the way the leads and keyboards are played. Ancient Bards sounds as classic music in a Heavy Metal version and that makes them so Epic.
This orchestral kind of Metal has fans all over the world and Ancient Bards is ready to conquer the entire world in this style. Their front woman has all trumps in her hand to reach that goal, the looks that lots of Metal fans adore but more important is that she contains a really great voice. In a period when this kind of Metal wanes somewhat Ancient Bards might be the holder of the flame for fanatics of Symphonic Epic Metal. With this album they surely prove being ultra-professional in every detail. Musical wise this is top, no doubts although it’s still not my cup of tea. I admit I enjoyed listening to this one although I’m not really into female voiced Metal (Let Nightwish with Tarja Turunen be the big exception). With “In My Arms”, some kind of ballad, Ancient Bards proves being ready for the bigger work. A bit of a Within Temptation touch right here but strong enough to overgrow even the genre these guys are playing. It’s the ultimate prove that Sara Squadrani makes this band overgrow the genre and she’s able to become a sensation. When these Italians go further on this path I believe there’s a major future awaiting. They have something special that most other bands in this kind of Metal miss, in my opinion the secret is their Misses.
On “The Last Resort” even Fabio Leone (Vision Divine, Labyrinth) joins this bad which obliges me mentioning Rhapsody Of Fire anyway, not my mistake… “Showdown” is more European Power Metal and that makes this album sound more varied. This is a varied album anyway… A very good release in its style from a band we will hear more from in the future. http://www.ancientbards.com
My Points: 86 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish