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Ancient Flame - Blood Stained the Barren Land

Ancient Flame
Blood Stained the Barren Land
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 08 February 2023, 2:43 PM

Definitively, Heavy Metal will never die. It’s one of the few musical genres of the world that is able to adapt to younger generations and new times without losing its grasp and its inner musical core. Since BLACK SABBATH created the genre and JUDAS PRIEST defined many of its elements in the 70’s, traditional Heavy Metal is always mutating and becoming new. One proof of these words can be heard on “Blood Stained the Barren Land”, the first album of the Finnish sextet ANCIENT FLAME.

The music of the band mixes a form of Heavy Metal that’s usual for Finnish bands of the genre and some influences of 70’s Hard Rock (due the presence of fine melodic sheaths created by the keyboards), some Middle East musical elements on the melodies, but with personal and fresh touch that brings the genre to the present, allowing their music to have an intense energetic impact. The technical level is very good (without exaggerations to not tear apart the hooks of the band’s songs), very good instrumental arrangements, contrasts between male and female vocals, and they know how to create choruses that once heard can’t be forgotten, It’s a very good release, indeed. Risto hold the responsibility of working on the mixing and recording (on this last one, he had the support of Petteri Urmas), while the mastering was done by Danil Venho at Studio Red House. The final result is very good, allowing the band to sound in a form that can be understood, but always with weight and aggressiveness. It could be better (especially on some instrumental tunes used), but’s is very good.

The album, as a debut, is a very good surprise for the fans, indeed. And to have a clear idea of the musical potential they have in hands, take a careful listening on “Babilim (The Time Has Come)” (excellent vocals’ contrasts that were built upon a solid instrumental foundation), “Sin of Ur” (a song with hypnotic melodies and a strong weight coming from the very good work of bass guitar and drums), “Nanaya” (where the Middle East elements on the melodies are clear, with the guitars creating a very good set of melodies), “The Great Flood” (where some Jazz-like technical rhythms can be heard, and where some accessible touches are presented due the presence of the keyboards), “Evil Days” (another catchy set of melodies inherited of Northern Heavy Metal appeal can be heard on this one), and “Sargon (The Legacy)”. But the efforts of the band created a homogeneous album, indeed.

It can be said that ANCIENT FLAME is a very good and promising name, a revelation of the Finnish scene. For now, enjoy the ride given by “Blood Stained the Barren Land”, and you won’t regret the experience.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Babilim (The Time Has Come)
2. Sin of Ur
3. Nanaya
4. Lilith the Warlock
5. The Great Flood
6. Evil Days
7. Empire of the Sun
8. Rising Evil
9. Sargon (The Legacy)
Kirsimarja Alonen - Vocals, Backing Vocals
Petteri Urmas - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Risto Hämäläinen - Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals, Programming
Kimmo Lukkarila - Rhythm Guitars
Markku Vanhanen - Bass, Backing Vocals
Juha-Pekka Ruohonen - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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