Ancient - Night Visit

Ancient was formed in Bergen, Norway  by Aphazel as a side project to one of his other bands in 1992. Their music takes a huge influence from the more symphonic or flamboyant bands within the scene such as Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir; or the most recent Black Metal band to come out of Taiwan - Chthonic. Ancient has received a lot of flack from their critics over the years, and it understandable once you consider that Aphazel was leading Ancient to be the most prominent symphonic band out of the early 90's Norwegian scene when he released The Cainian Chronicle. Despite the negativity of a select few, Ancient has continued to put out an impressive catalogue of albums since then and collected a very loyal fanbase.

On 2004's Night Visit, the song writing had matured infinitely since 2001's Proxima Centauri. Certainly the production has improved significantly, which you need with this type of recording. This album offers a wide variety of blackened styles and harmonic leads. Aphazel's girlfriend, Deadly Kristin, is not as prominent in this release as she was in past efforts. She makes an appearance in the first track Envision of The Beast and never returns.

Ancient is closer to developing a sound of their own, but ultimately they will still draw comparisons to the more popular Cradle of Filth. It could be argued that while Ancient has progressed and developed in miraculous leaps and bounds, they have outgrown their vocalist Aphazel. He is a talented, but monotonous vocalist and the current theatrics that the band maintains suffer because of his monotony.

Night Visit is by no means an essential release, it only sold 143 copies in its first week; but it does indicate progress in a band that had been stagnant and for that reason alone, Night Visit becomes a justified purchase and addition to any Black Metal enthusiasts collection.

  1. Envision The Beast
  2. Rape The Children of Abel
  3. Horroble
  4. Night Visit
  5. Lycanthropy
  6. Night of The Stygian Souls
  7. Fuel The Flames
  8. The Truth Unveiled
  9. The Arctic Mirage (bonus track)
  10. Out In The Haunted Woods (bonus track)

Reviewer: Kong
Aug 15, 2010

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