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Ancient - Trolltaar (Reissue) Award winner

Trolltaar (Reissue)
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 26 August 2017, 7:41 AM

The times when Norwegian Black Metal came back from the deepest parts of the underground are missed by many fans. This happens because there was a special feeling in those days, when bands as SATYRICON, ENSLAVED, EMPEROR and others were releasing their first albums and unleashing their darkened fury. Black Metal was the Metal genre hated by all others, feared by many, but this is the most charming feature of those bands. One of the most talented bands from those times was ANCIENT, from Bergen, when they were releasing their first releases. In 1995, one year after the classic “Svartalvheim”, they came back with an EP, called “Trolltaar”, an item that was extremely hard to find. But now, it gained a new reissue from Sleaszy Rider Records.

The same spirit of “Svartalvheim” is pulsing on “Trolltaar”. That raw and intense form of playing Black Metal in the vein of BATHORY and MAYHEM, but with a more refined approach, can be founded here. But they had a strong personality, using it to create a darkened and morbid form of music, with aggressive parts and atmospheric moments. This is the true Norwegian Black Metal spirit, a thing that is unusual to say today, but to those that are a bitter older, will understand my words. Originally, “Trolltaar” was produced by Michael Omlid. The only difference between the original sound quality and from this new reissue is only one: it was remastered. The raw and dirty sound from the old days is here once more, but with things a bit more listenable. But as I always say, an album must have a quality that fits on what it must express, so we can say that “Trolltaar” is in the proper way. By the way: Lise Kari H. Stalheim on female vocals and Knut Arne Kringstad on euphonium are the special guests on original version.

Another important difference: the original version was a three-track EP, and here, we have some bonus songs. It has eight songs, at last. “Trolltaar” with its morbid charm and intense guitar works (Aphazel is a master of 6-strings), the morbid and sinister “Nattens Skjonnhet” (another fine piece of Black Metal, with nasty vocals and drums, a courtesy from Grimm) and the somber and atmospheric “Fjellets Hemmelighet” are the songs presented on the original version (with the last one on a longer version). As extra songs, we have the excellent “Eerily Howling Winds” (that came from sessions of pre-production of “Svartalvheim”, being nastier and dirtier that the version found on the album), a different mix for “Likferd” (with a focus on the reverb effect, another song that has a version on their first album), and the live versions for “Eerily Howling Winds”, “The Call of the Absu Deep” and “Det Glemte Riket”, with a sound quality better than my previous idea (but not something so clean).

Then, this version of “Trolltaar” comes in a time that everybody can buy it, and maybe to reintroduce ANCIENT for many fans, because they are alive, and released an album last year, “Back from the Land of the Dead”. It’s time for a new release for “Svartalvheim”, and I am counting on Sleaszy Rider Records for it.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Trolltaar (remastered)
2. Nattens Skjonnhet (remastered)
3. Fjellets Hemmelighet (long version)
4. Eerily Howling Winds (Pre Prod 93)
5. Likferd (reverb mix)
6. Eerily Howling Winds (live)
7. The Call Of The Absu Deep (live)
8. Det Glemte Riket (live)
Aphazel - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Grimm - Drums, Vocals
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records


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