Ancient Mastery
Chapter One...


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (98 Reviews)
January 13th, 2021 | 56 replies


Release Date: 01/08/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The tale begins...

Ancient Mastery is the third child of a shadow that signs as Erech Leleth, with Golden Blood and Narzisuss being his other two incarnations. The project seems to spawn through four albums or chapters that tell the story of the realm of Valdura, with this Chapter I: Across The Mountains Of The Drämmarskol acting as the point of departure. Ancient Mastery sounds as you would expect from the cover, designed by Vera Tristitia, whose work you should check if black metal inspired art tickles your fancy. The sound of Ancient Mastery is, to absolutely no one’s surprise, good ol’ black metal, with crusty production, synth grandiosity, nocturnal shrieks and rabid blast beats, but there are a few surprises along the way.

“To Valdura” opens the album setting the mood with an array of keys and epic melodies. From the start, it’s clear that Ancient Mastery is heavily based on melody, an aspect in which I think Erech excels as a composer. Drums are programmed in a way that they do exactly what is needed according to what you are expecting. It’s something that creates a sort of familiarity which I felt helps this project to be among the most accessible black metal albums I heard in recent times.

Border lining dungeon synth territory, the first track enters a sort of respite before unleashing a savage blast beat, which later becomes some sort of folk metal ala Caladan Brood. “The Majesty of Aztara” follows suit with ten more minutes of symphonic black metal. Erech’s shrieks mesh incredibly well with the raw, rotten sound of the instruments that pile up behind his voice, but somehow everything is easily distinguishable. The first of several crazy moments takes place here, with a histrionic synth hammering a couple of sinister notes mid-track like a battle cry (I can’t believe I wrote that). The end of the track is spectacular and links perfectly with the next scenery. “The Passage” starts with the same resilience that the previous track, again playing with long dungeon synth passages until reaching the second and probably craziest moment of the album, with, again, a synth that sounds straight out from “The Final Countdown” creating a very... unique mood, dark and epic, with plenty of riffage trying to push back the synth overhaul in a constant battle for the spotlight.

The last track, “The Forest Gate”, was the moment that won me over. I did not expect Laine Miller’s moody vocals over that gloomy arpeggio, a beautiful moment of peace and melancholia before Erech takes over again with business as usual, if only with a sort of cabaret feel that is soon washed away by a playful flute and what it sounds like mountains clapping. You would believe that things are wrapping up at this point but nope: crazy synth strikes back and Erech rides once again on punkthrone wings onwards to the next chapter among fireworks, dragons and spaceships. Miller’s voice stops to say goodbye before the final send-off, a storm of riffs and screams concluding the first chapter of what it’s destined to be a history lesson to remember. To Valdura!



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user ratings (22)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2021


22849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hear in full / Buy / Support: https://ancientmastery.bandcamp.com/album/chapter-one-across-the-mountains-of-the-dr-mmarskol



God, I love this stuff. Can't wait for the rest of chapters, hopefully this year!

Digging: Beautify Junkyards - Cosmorama

Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna listen now

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2021


22849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uf you're tough crowd Pika, let's see how this sits with you.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2021


15431 Comments


You entered the new year at full speed buddy, nice work, as always.
I'll take a peek soon!

Digging: Fractal Generator - Macrocosmos

Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So far this leans more towards dungeon synth than bm, not bad



Wish it had a bit more meat and potatoes to it though

butt.
January 13th 2021


8184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If it sounds like a nazi shitting into a laptop microphone, pika will love it

Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well that came out of nowhere



trying to think of a nazi bm artist (apart from burzum) that sounds like that and whose music I actually love





Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a lot of nazi-fronted bm has pretty clean production tbh (deathspell omega, inquisition, etc.)

Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anyhow, this was a pretty enjoyable listen



Like I said before, wasn't huge on some of the ds parts, but overall pretty nice. Looking forward to hearing the next chapter

Gyromania
January 13th 2021


31361 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Idk Dewi, after Wasteland and Crypt of Ice I just don't know

Digging: Biosphere - Dropsonde [Reissue]

Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

do what i do



don't trust anyone

Gyromania
January 13th 2021


31361 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good advice Pikazilla - I trust you

parksungjoon
January 13th 2021


25494 Comments


don't trust no one

always on the run

eyes all over

never safe

virus like

merciless


Digging: Government - Shitshitshit [japanese death poem]

dbizzles
January 13th 2021


14580 Comments


Great review. Adding this to my queue.

Digging: Boldy James and The Alchemist - The Price Of Tea In China

butt.
January 13th 2021


8184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deathspell is nazi? Fuck

Pikazilla
January 13th 2021


14196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yep, burn those fuckers alive



Good thing I never actually paid for any of their shit. Too scared of buying anything bm nowadays, you never know when bands will publicly start tweeting that fash horn

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2021


9009 Comments


I bookmarked it for future listening, because from the artwork alone it seemed like a decent release, seems I have to expedite that checking out.

Good review.

Digging: Downfall - Passive Regression

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2021


2180 Comments


checked this bc i'm desperate to hear 2021 albums but yea not for me at all lol
great rev tho! one lil typo in the final sentence: "of what it’s destined to be a history" it's = is

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow

MyFriendMetatron
January 13th 2021


67 Comments


I bought all of Deathspell's stuff because I typically don't care to find out about who artists are. Am I now a nazi?

Fuck.

Digging: Akhlys - Melinoe

butt.
January 13th 2021


8184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah you are



This is was pretty decent, a little silly at times but the last track was fantastic



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