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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


Ancient Light

Review by Gary Hill

I have not heard this British metal band before. Based on the strength of this album, I'm going to keep my eyes open for more of their music. This is a killer album that has a decent range while staying firmly in the fierce zone. While not every song is as strong as some of the others, it's all quite good. That is really evidence of how good this music is, even the more run-of-the-mill stuff is exceptional.

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Track by Track Review
This drives in with some screaming hot, nearly technical, metal jamming. The vocals are of the power metal type. This is driving, true steel that really rocks.
Silent Stone
Driving and fierce, I'm reminded of Iron Maiden to some degree on this. The power metal choruses are great. The bass work on this is strong.
Ancient Light
The title track pounds in fierce. It drops back to mellower stuff for the entrance of the vocals. It screams back out from there as it continues. This is another driving metal tune, but the mellower dropped back sections bring more dynamic range to it. There is an epic quality to this number.
Goddess of Life
Incredibly fierce, I'm remind of Manowar on this one, minus some of the sillier aspects of that band. I really like this song. it's a stomper and yet has some melodic musical passages, too.
The Sculptor and the Stone Lady
There is a technical metal edge to this. It's a fierce screamer. I'm reminded to some degree of King Diamond on this, but with different vocals. It's another powerhouse metal number. There are a couple places on the track where the guitar sound makes me think of Uli Jon Roth just a little. There is an excursion into a less metal, Latin inspired jam at one point, too.
Lord of Sleep, Dreammaster
A melodic metal introduction gives way to a furious technical metal jam. This is another that has a real epic quality. It's intense and packed full of shifts and changes.
The Library
While not a big change, this is another fierce and powerful metal stomper. It's a real screamer that works quite well.
I dig the energy and fire of this track. It's another smoking hot metal stomper.
Another with a wider dynamic range and a more epic vibe, this starts with mellower, more melodic stuff. In fact, the opening qualifies as balladic. This grows out into fierce metal with a lot of melody and power built into it.
The Nightmare of Aeon
They saved the best for last. This is epic in so many ways. It's also screaming hot with killer metal at its core. There are some literally screaming moments. Yet it has plenty of twists and turns.
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