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Ancient Rites

Dim Carcosa

Review by Gary Hill

This a newly reissued edition of the 2001 album from this Belgian metal act. The sound here covers things ranging from epic metal to black metal, Gothic and more. It even gets proggy at times. It's quite the varied and potent mix of sounds, and the whole album flows really well. I'd definitely be interested in hearing more for this act.

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Track by Track Review
The Return
Piano gets things going here. This works into a classical music styled piece that has plenty of keyboards in the mix. It's evocative and powerful and feels a little like something Rick Wakeman might do. While most of this is instrumental, there are some vocals later along the run. The cut is decidedly proggy and has an intense and complex arrangement.
Exile (Les litanies de Satan)
Starting with a classically tinged chorale arrangement, this fires out into fierce and furious metal as it continues. This piece has some extreme metal vocals of the black metal variety. There is also plenty of classical styling in the mix on this. It's pure metal, though.
Victory or Valhalla (Last Man Standing)
Driving and more purely metallic, this does have a real cinematic vibe to it. Goth metal concepts are at play. This feels like a mix of epic metal with the Goth and black varieties of the sound. It is dynamic and mean. I'm reminded of both Cradle of Filth and King Diamond to varying degrees.
...and the Horns Called for War
While not a big change, this is another powerhouse rocker that works really well. It gets literally screaming at times and is seriously driving and pounding.
North Sea
Classical music gets us going here. This powers out into some killer metal after a time. It has that epic meets Goth and extreme thing underway. This is a dynamic and powerful piece of music that really works well. In fact, I think this might be one of my favorites here. It really has some great melodic moments and a lot of drama and passion.
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
I really like this one a lot. It's fierce and extreme, but there is also an epic and symphonic quality to this one. There are some world music leanings here at times, too. I can make out some hints of space rock, too. This is another standout track for me.
Ode to Ancient) Europa
Another screaming hot metal stomper, this manages a number of twists and turns. It's extreme and fierce.
Piano is in the driver's seat here. In fact, this short piece is a piano solo.
Lindisfarne (Anno 793)
More driving extreme metal is on the menu. This is furious and mean. It's quite extreme, too.
On Golden Fields (De leeuwen dansen)
In some ways this is more mainstream metal. The guitar solo on this is fierce and among the best of the whole album. They also drop it to a more melodic movement.
Dim Carcosa
Symphonic, cinematic and dramatic sounds are on the menu as this gets underway. The vocals are spoken. This is very much an artsy, proggy sort of piece of music. It makes a nice bookend to close things. 

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