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Ancestral - The Ancient Curse (CD)

The Ancient Curse
by Grigoris Chronis at 29 August 2007, 5:10 PM

When your favorite bands have extended their horizons (musically speaking), when their style becomes more and more 'altered', when every album is supposed to see them return back to their 'roots'…then it's 'rookie' bands like these Italian Metal warriors that present music willing to remind you how 'classic' a Metal sub-genre normally was/is. I'm not against exploration - even if limited are the bands/albums deserving such risk, in my rusty ears - but I eventually enjoyed ANCESTRAL's first official CD a lot more than I initially imagined.
The quintet's debut album was planned to see the light of day in fall 2006. Still, due to technical reasons this release was postponed to this summer. In the hands of the fine Italian label Underground Symphony, The Ancient Curse sees the band developing a heavy/power/epic Metal style not that similar to the RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) likes you may assume but mainly in the 'old' BLIND GUARDIAN and 'old' (pre-Keepers…) HELLOWEEN vein. You'll 'also find elements from the 'primitive' GRAVE DIGGER/RUNNING WILD attempts, plus enough of the atmosphere of the mighty 80s Thrash Metal scene (don't make me name beloved bands!) will tease your ears here and there. The good thing - and main advantage of ANCESTRAL - lays on the fact that the band performs the Italian way, adapting (and not copying) its influences and rearranging 'em the way they've been learning to perform in their home country.
The guitars breathe eternal fire in songs like Freeborn (the album's best tune?), Jalwink's Fall and Lord Of Terror while the rhythm section is more than trustworthy for the backing of some really complex instrumentation. Still, and thankfully, no 'prog' attitude is shown in these promising musicians; it's just their love for creating songs with various riffs and/or tempos. Speed is a good 'vibe' for ANCESTRAL (I brought some of ICED EARTH to mind in a couple of themes) plus the Olivo/Ferrantello due sees a great chemistry, crossfiring leads and riffs an time they feel so. Last but not least, Mirko's vocal abilities are more than notable plus I feel he'll be even more reliable in following albums.
His voice - a mix of BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kursch, RAGE's Peavey and LABURINTH's Rob Tyrant - bears a great amount of both epos and melody. He can handle hi throat throughout every song part, while he succeeds in sounding old-school. Well, this old-school thing is being helped out by the 'retro' production, too. And this sounds like a good move, I add, since a more polished sound may had ranked ANCESTRAL as another Euro Power outfit. And this they are not, since they're both into the 'old' Power/Epic field.
So, is The Ancient Curse an album worth the ultimate grade? Not yet, since ANCESTRAL walk on fire for the first - official - time, thus some lack of 100% personality plus partial deficiency in recording experience are obvious. Still, the Italian quintet's CD is more than good for followers of teutonic-meets-epic Metal music and The Ancient Curse (what a beautiful cover!) will possible spin for hundreds of times in my CD player while waiting for their next creation.

4 Star Rating

Lord Of Terror
The Ancient Curse
Sanctuary Of The Kings
Achille's Fury (In Hector's Death)
Time Has Gone By
Jalwink's Fall
The Walls Of Troy
Eleanor Rigby
Mirko Olivo - Vocals
Alessandro Olivo - Guitars
Domiziano Mendolia - Bass
Massimiliano Mendolia - Drums
Giovan Battista Ferrantello - Guitars
Record Label: Underground Symphony


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