Ancient Bards have been a revelation to me. They are the right mix of epicness from bands like Rhapsody of Fire and Avantasia and the power of Sara's magnificent voice, succeeding to give to the band a unique style. Bravissimi!
Favorite track: In My Arms.
Although suggestions of certain similarities to Rhapsody resp. Rhapsody Of Fire have followed ANCIENT BARDS since they first got together, the Italian quintet, with their overwhelming vocalist and frontgirl Sara Squadrani, have consistently gone their own way. Their style may have made the band polarize somewhat, but they are persistent in realizing their musical vision and balancing their preferences. Their symphonic-epic Metal is cleanly prepared, superbly played and it is apparent that ANCIENT BARDS do their work not only with fun, but also with conviction. It comes therefore as no surprise that they have once again set new musical accents with their third album "A New Dawn Ending", which takes up and continues the previous subjects from Nordic stories and Japanese tales like Final Fantasy. Musically, the band is clearly more mature and, during several songs on the new album, they can even be compared with Within Temptation. The album is the consequential development from their previous work and will attract everyone who loves bombastic, symphonic power metal. 2014 is going to be a really successful year for the Italian symphonic metal band, because with "A New Dawn Ending" they have a true ace up their communal sleeve.
The ten songs on "A New Dawn Ending”, with over seventy minutes of playing time, are perfectly balanced, excellently performed symphonic epic metal with loads of feeling and variety. The band has moved away from the overly fast power metal style of its predecessor and take their songwriting audibly deeper. The album is built up around the title track and its long track, "Showdown", both of which underline all the most impressive and catchy elements of the band. "Showdown" is equipped with a remarkable bitter-sweet melody which, once heard, tends to stay with you for a while. The almost frenzied ending with a classical rhythm is absolutely feudal in character! "Across This Life" swings between fast riff attacks and classical, orchestral parts for which Sara Squadrani presents an excellent singing job which, here and there, reminds one of Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation). It is one of the few very fast tracks with galloping speeds in the middle section and a classical guitar part, which underlines the epic spectrum of the track. A further highlight is the almost seven minute long "Flaming Heart", which is the epitome of the term "classical influence". This is a schoolbook track which exemplifies the subject of symphone-epic metal - greatly entertaining! The album is rounded off with superb cover artwork from the house of Felipe Machado Franco, who has, in the past, been called upon by bands such as Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, etc.
Symphonic Epic Power Metal There's just a very thin line between art and kitsch, but there are some innovative bands
operating smartly near, but never beyond it. Among those: ANCIENT BARDS, managing that balancing act with ambitious grace. Some say ANCIENT BARDS are somehow like "more sophisticated"...more