Ancient
Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends


1.0
awful

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 17th, 2008 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The soundtrack to the demise of a band that had such a promising future.

Back in the mid-nineties Ancient were on the cusp of attaining the status of such bands as Emperor and Mayhem due to the rave being created by their two releases; 1994’s Svartalvheim and 1996’s The Cainian Chronicles. Before the release of this album it was thought that it would be the one to solidify their standing in the black metal world, but no one could have predicted the raging turd that was about to be unleashed from the collective bowels of this band. Svartalvheim and The Cainian Chronicles were aggressive, guitar dominated efforts that were just raw enough to satisfy most diehard black metal fans, but this album was nothing like that.

This album was full of gothic interludes, backing female vocals, cheesy keyboards, and generally everything that could ever be wrong with a black metal album. Of course they were immediately branded Cradle of Filth clones by the masses, but I couldn’t disagree more. To me the term “clone” means to replicate perfectly the original subject and that’s just not what happened here. This album is more the musical equivalent of showing a six year old the Mona Lisa and then asking him to recreate it with crayons; not a clone, just a sloppy, misguided interpretation of all the original’s elements.

The first track (after a useless intro), “A Mad Blood Scenario”, contains a lot of what is wrong with this album. The problems begin immediately with the spoken-word parts that are so overblown due to him trying much too hard to make his voice sound deep and mysterious which, instead, makes it sound stupid and laughable. Speaking of “laughable”, much of this song is also spent by the vocalist giggling like some sort of black metal school girl. I’m guessing the desired effect would be to sound scary or insane, but again, the only real outcome is annoyance. Musically we find the band trying its best to recreate the atmosphere of CoF with minimal success. They have the prerequisite clean guitar parts, the heavy mid-sections, the gothic keyboard interludes, the female “oohs” and “ahhs”, and much like the six year old trying to interpret what made the original painting so great, Ancient fail miserably.

Things don’t get any better as the album progresses either. Every track holds an abundance of horrible spoken-word sections, horrendous school-girl giggling, generic female vocal parts and misguided attempts at gothic black metal. I wish I could say that everything I’ve mentioned is all that is wrong with this album, but on the fifth track they introduce a new element; horribly out of key clean singing. Thankfully, from this song on, the clean singing is used sparingly but it’s still used enough to drive another nail into the coffin that is already full of nails.

Another “nail” in this coffin comes on the eighth track when they try to incorporate 80’s rock into the mix with disastrous results. They take all the worst elements of the genre and cram them in with the crap they’ve already been churning out for the last seven songs. Out of everything they could have chose to take from the 80’s, they choose simple drum beats, generic groovy riffs, and plenty of cheesy vocal transitions including “Oh Yeah”, “Oomph”, and heavy breathing… seriously, I was waiting to hear someone belt out “I Wanna Rawk!” from the beginning of that old Twisted Sister video.

I could continue to go on and point out the flaws on each individual song, I could make jokes about the black metal picnic taking place on the cover (seriously, who drags a table into the middle of the forest), I could mention that the guitar player’s name is Jesus Christ! (including the exclamation mark) and relate how fitting that is to the overall vibe of this album, I could rip into the horribly thin production; basically I could talk much more but I think that everyone gets the picture. To put things into perspective for those still reading, this album was so bad that by the time the band released their final album (which was actually good) it only sold 134 copies in its first week, and those low sales were largely attributed to the stink still floating around from this album.



Recent reviews by this author
Kenn Nardi Dancing With the PastSick of It All The Last Act of Defiance
Meshuggah I (Special Edition)Cannibal Corpse A Skeletal Domain
Rabbit Junk Pop That Pretty ThirtyAnathema Distant Satellites
user ratings (13)
Chart.
2.1
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

These guys have a few ok albums... this just isn't one of them.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

rasputin
March 18th 2008


14555 Comments


I really liked your review, it's very well written. I've never heard of these guys, except the album name 'Svartalvheim' rings a bell.

Meatplow
March 18th 2008


5524 Comments


Can this be appreciated in an ironic sense?

Good review.

Wizard
March 18th 2008


19644 Comments


This album is more the musical equivalent of showing a six year old the Mona Lisa and then asking him to recreate it with crayons; not a clone, just a sloppy, misguided interpretation of all the original’s elements.

I fucking laughed so hard when I read that line.
Your writing style flows so well that I will give this review an A + and a vote. I will be avoiding this album like the plague. I will check out some of their other stuff though.


Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

combustion07
March 18th 2008


5420 Comments


Trolltaar owns. I guess I won't be getting this though, btw good review I voted.

ZapatoDiablo
March 18th 2008


167 Comments


Yeah I have a couple of this band's albums and they are pretty bad. Nice review Willie.

Willie
Moderator
March 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Can this be appreciated in an ironic sense?
Maybe, but it would be a reach.
I will be avoiding this album like the plague. I will check out some of their other stuff though.
The Cainian Chronicles isn't a bad album, and Night Visit is actually really good (I only heard it for the first time a few days ago and was surprised that they finally turned around; although too late).
... and thanks to everyone for the comments...

Tarantino's Tarantulas
March 18th 2008


819 Comments


I think it was this band's video which came out No. 1 on a Youtube 'Top Ten Worst Black Metal Videos'

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2008


16478 Comments


Nice review, this album sounds awful. The part where you mentioned the 80's rock influence in the track made me laugh.

Hawks
March 18th 2008


35837 Comments


Wow. I wanted to check Ancient out, now i dont know if i do. Although if it sounds like COF i might like it.This Message Edited On 03.18.08

Willie
Moderator
March 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

No, it sounds like a misguided attempt to emulate CoF by people who didn't understand how to make the elements work... it's horrible. If you want to check these guys out then get "Night Visit"... that is by far their best album.

Edit: ...and this is coming from someone who likes CoF too (except their last two albums)....

Hawks
March 18th 2008


35837 Comments


Ok. I've heard some of this band. I dont remember what song it was or what album it was on, but i remember them not being to great. I love Black Metal and i've always heard about these guys being one of the best from Norway. I guess that's not the case anymore.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2008


15743 Comments


I love reading well written negative reviews, but can usually never get up the urge to write one myself. Well done.

Willie
Moderator
March 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I love Black Metal and i've always heard about these guys being one of the best from Norway. I guess that's not the case anymore.
That is where you're mistaken though... their last one, Night Visit, is easily their best one... it's the album where they finally went back to what worked after a lot of mediocre releases.... and this horrible one.
I love reading well written negative reviews, but can usually never get up the urge to write one myself. Well done.
Thanks

Essence
March 18th 2008


3595 Comments


seriously, I was waiting to hear someone belt out “I Wanna Rawk!” from the beginning of that old Twisted Sister video.


YES. This made my day.

Well written as usual Willie.

AngelPhoenix
March 18th 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I heard a few clips from a few songs from this album and yeah...
that's all I needed to know this album is so bad it hurts.

Yazz_Flute
March 18th 2008


18875 Comments


nice review. I've heard one of the songs off the Cainian Chronicles (I got it from a
myspace bulletin showing the worst bm videos of all time, and it was number 1 lol)
and it was really cool. I'll probably check that album out sometime.

:edit: the song was "Part II: Lilith's Embrace," awesome song but that video is so
godawful its funny as hell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yck6E0ZBK64This Message Edited On 03.18.08

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

Willie
Moderator
March 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I'll have to check out that video now...
the song is good though... they've always had an image problem as far as I can remember that is why when I got "Night Visit" I refused to look at recent band pictures.

Yazz_Flute
March 18th 2008


18875 Comments


the guys facial expressions are fucking hilarious, and one of the guitarists looks like
bucketheadThis Message Edited On 03.18.08

Willie
Moderator
March 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

That video is horrible... now imagine that crap imagery put to equally bad music and you have this album... just so you know this song (Part II) is the only one to have any female vocals (if I remember right) on that album.
The female singer is Kimberly Gross who went on to front the power metal band Synergy.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy