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Ancient Bards - A New Dawn Ending Award winner

Ancient Bards
A New Dawn Ending
by Daniel Fox at 01 May 2014, 12:31 PM

I have always cordially looked upon ANCIENT BARDS as Italy's female vocalist answer to their own RHAPSODY OF FIRE. Their new album, "A New Dawn Ending" conveys their modern, yet tried-and-true firestorm of epic, symphonic Power Metal, with Sara Squadrani a nice touch and a new torch for a genre which normally consists of male, high-speed and high-velocity power screamers.

"Across this Life" is a riff-tastic piece, beautifully mixed to the highest standard with every brick in the track's wall of sound leaking pure energy through the cracks. What originally drew me to this band were the technical and soaring arrangements, similar to ANGRA and RHAPSODY OF FIRE; Sara's vocal delivery stays away from the ear-splitting operatics of the majority of female metal vocalists, opting for a high register, heavy metal approach; look no further than the likes of UNLEASH THE ARCHERS or SYNERGY. From what I have already heard of the band, this track displays what I believe to be her best vocal performance. Tracks like "A Greater Purpose" displays the entire band's heights of virtuosic playing; abilities typical of a country known worldwide for its music; melded in are enormously thick choral and symphonic passages, taking me back to ANGRA's "Nova Era" days.

"Flaming Heart" is this album's special definition of the word 'epic', with mature and heavenly arrangements that rival those of EPICA and NIGHTWISH; a fine example of the band's love of forays into Symphonic Metal, with such elements heavily (literally) prevalent. "In the End" is an excellent, blistering track with a complex, technical and frantic rhythm section showing an even faster side to the band's impressive and expansive pool of arrangements. Also one of the more progressive tracks, many alterations in the track gradually shine through as previous layers are swept away, as the track continues to grow, amorphous but not shapeless.
ANCIENT BARDS are an incredibly strong contender within the genre and at least in their home country of Italy, and make some of the best female-fronted metal in the world.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Across this Life
2. A Greater Purpose
3. A New Dawn Ending
4. Before the Storm
5. Flaming Heart
6. In My Arms
7. In The End
8. Showdown
9. Spiriti Liberi
10. The Last Resort (feat. Fabio Lione)
Lineup:
Sara Squadrani – Vocals
Daniele Mazza – Keyboards
Claudio Pietronik – Guitars
Martino Garattoni – Bass
Federico Gatti – Drums
Record Label: Limb Music
     


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Edited 31 October 2020
 

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