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Ancient Mastery - The Chosen One

Ancient Mastery
The Chosen One
by Ian Yeara at 09 February 2022, 7:30 AM

This is a short EP so I don’t really feel like beating around the bush. This is a fantastic EP, all three songs show a different dimension of Melodic Black Metal and Erech proves that he can write fun melodies within a cultish black metal sound. I’m not sure how else to describe it, the production is pure early 90s second wave Black Metal, but the guitars shine through it all creating a wall of noise and melody. I think what strikes me about this so much is the amount of time the EP spends in a major key. It is underestimated how much of an impact the simple usage of more major chords in Black and Death Metal, and that coupled with the frantic pace of the music it just works brilliantly for me. "Shadow of the Past" brings big energy and catchy riffs right away, as well as setting the pace for the album. I like that each song slows things down, just a bit, we get the speed and crushing riffs in track one, and then "To Bear the Sword" takes a little more of an emotional and mid tempo approach comparatively, but still with moments of speed. Then we get very poignant keyboard sections that are used sparingly and to great effect throughout the EP. I’m just pointing out that the flow from track one to track three is brilliant and it shows me (within a small sample size) that Erech knows how to pace an album, and put a tracklist together and I’m quite impressed.

Of course the title track is the longest and most interesting of the three songs. It starts off with a slower, mournful melody that sets the stage for an epic nine minute black metal song. Once the blast beats begin this song is a whirlwind of all the classic black metal tropes, but with a more positive bent than most. The riffs are plenty audible and surprisingly catchy. I’m not going to sit here and describe the whole song in detail, the EP is available on Bandcamp and I strongly advise you check it out if this sounds interesting to you. There’s a nice clean vocals spot that fills in the development section quite nicely and the synth flute leads perfectly back into the next verse. Sometimes an album is so dull that I have a hard time finding things to talk about, this is the opposite. "The Chosen One" is really solid, but it’s also pretty stock standard in form, the execution is just really good. This is how good songwriting, production and pacing all come together to make a really enjoyable three track EP and I am very much looking forward to perusing ANCIENT MASTERY’s discography now.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Shadow of the Past
2. To Bear the Sword
3. The Chosen One
Erech - Everything
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions


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