Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ancient Rites

Ancient Rites - Blasfemia Eternal
Mascot Records, 1996
Genre: Black Metal?

1. Blasfemia Eternal
2. Total Misanthropia
3. Garden of Delights (EVA)
4. Quest for Blood (Le Vampire)
5. Blood of Christ (Mohammed Wept)
6. Epebos Aionia
7.(Het Verdronken Land Van) Saeftinge
8. Shades of Eternal Battlefields (Our Empire Fell)
9. Vae Victis
10. Fallen Angel

Well after much prodding from my good friend Jassim has prompted me to finally get this done now.  No more stalling on my behalf.  I’m not even sure why Ancient Rites hasn’t started dedicating their albums to this man yet!

Anyway, I’m personally not a big Ancient Rites fan.  This album was specifically recommended to me because of its use of a more Black Metal nature.  I don’t think it sounds too terribly like Black Metal; it’s got more Death Metal blended with Thrash aspects than anything in my opinion, though the band is pictured with corpse paint in the booklet.  That’s one of the only Black Metal aspects I can truly see here, aside from the off chance you come across a very atmospheric and cold Black Metal riff, but those are few and far between on this album.  The vocals sound more reminiscent of early Thrash Metal, like something you would hear on old Kreator or something to that nature, but not nearly as good.  Just the same approach, I mean, he doesn’t sound like Mille or anything.

Basically when it comes right down to it Ancient Rites is mostly just a mediocre band.  None of their songs really strike me as standing out, nor are they very memorable to me.  They’re not an untalented band, they are quite skilled musicians in fact, it’s just I don’t think they’re bringing anything new to the playing field.  Furthermore, I don’t feel a major affinity to the style they are performing as well, but I will not write this off as mere crap, because it is not.  However, I do prefer more full on and intense musical approach most of the time because I enjoy the powerful nature found within it, Ancient Rites doesn’t really achieve this in my opinion.

The lyrics are quite mediocre overall.  Having concepts ranging from vampirism to general anti-Christian ideals to even singing about how it is good to be descended from their country.  Though, I can’t see any points where I would outright disagree with their points.  The one song I thought was interesting lyrically was “Garden of Delights (Eva).”  The one cool thing they did was on the first page of their booklet they write a small paragraph about what their inspiration was for the song lyrically.  For the song mentioned above I found it interesting what they wrote: “Women are oppressed by all religions of Light.  No female priests can be found in Christianity, Moslem fundamentalists demand Women’s hair to be covered.  Eva (=Woman) as the Eternal scapegoat, we embrace her for having bitten the apple.  Who needs God’s paradise?”  While this general overview is fairly correct for the most part.  There is some lack of research held within these broad generalized statements that this band may have been unaware of, especially in terms if they merely grew up in a Christian region of the world and are therefore privy to all the Christian ignorant teachings held there within.  I have never encountered a religion so against learning correct history than that of Christianity, it is as if all history should bend to the Christian will, but that is not true and it never can be, despite what their sheep-like mindset wishes to be.

Here’s one point where they are actually wrong in this sense: “No female priests can be found in Christianity.”  However, I know from a historical perspective that the Valentinian Gnostic Christians had female as well as male priests.  They resided in Italy and were summarily destroyed by the Holy Roman Catholic church in due time.  For many years what being “Christian” meant had very varying ideologies.  Eventually the strongest of the ideas won out because of governmental support and thus the oppression of all other forms came to pass.  The same thing happened with the Koran, all ideologies countering the writings ratified by the majority government holders were entirely eradicated and even today there is no other document stating a differing doctrine in terms of Islam.  However, I think the Muslim’s were slightly more realistic in what they attempted to do, however, it is no different and it instantaneously stopped the progressing religious thoughts of that entire religion.

The part I found rather curious was the “Eva (=Women) as the eternal scapegoat.”  While this is seemingly true of today’s society it is by no means true of the far ancient past of civilization.  See, when reading through history it seems like there was a change in worship.  When you look at ancient mythology there was always a sacred feminine that was seen as the equal to the male chief deity (his queen per se).  This is common in the middle-eastern religions, such as the Sumerian’s Inanna and Babylon’s Istar (corresponds later with Astarte).  Now these women were worshipped by a great portion of society in the ancient world, and likewise women were revered in Egypt.  So to claim that women are the eternal scapegoat is a false statement and a highly Christianized outlook.  Not even the mainstay of Jewish thought holds that women brought “original sin” onto mankind.  In fact, if you read through the mystical Jewish thought there is an overwhelming respect for the sacred feminine.  However, I feel it is greatly diminished than what it should be from a focal point of a religious perspective, still it shows that there is still some progression in religious thought of even today.  There were even sects of Gnostic Christians that praised Eve for eating of the apple and they even praised the serpent as the bringer of wisdom unto mankind, I recommend reading literature on the Sethians.  So basically, to make a long story short, when the Jews (as in Abraham) left that type of religious realm, they created a new one and made the male the focal point of the religion.  Thus women were demonized, but as their religion progressed, I like to think after a while they finally outgrew that childish ideology and I see that with the creation of the mystical variants, but they are still lacking a full on appreciation from my perspective.  Anyway, as the Jewish religion spread across the Middle East and created quite a militant force to back it up, they decimated other peoples and regions and thus changed the focus and the rest of history in terms of their view point on women.  I, for one, don’t believe in demonizing them or saying they are less than men for if you truly are a wise person you will not be as arrogant as to claim you are superior over someone because of their gender.  If you believe your gender endows you with greater superiority then you are in fact quite ignorant, and I will list you as no better than following a Christian ideology through life… and no, that is not a compliment coming from me.  Likewise, the vice versa can be said of ultra-feminist’s as they are the same in my eyes if they think their gender is superior.

So all in all, after that lengthy discourse on one comment made by the band, the music overall is mediocre.  Their message in the lyrics is one I happen to agree with quite a bit though, so that facet of the band I enjoyed quite a bit.  This review is naturally dedicated to Jassim Hyder Arabi and I hope he enjoys the thorough interpretation and correction of this bands comments.


Babylonians, Saggs, H.W.F. British Museum Press, London, 1995, ISBN: 0-7141-2182-7

Etz Hayim, The Jewish Publication Society, 2001, 0-8276-0712-1

The Gnostic Bible, Editors Barnstone & Meyer, 2003, ISBN: 1-57062-242-6

A Guide to the Zohar, Arthur Green, 2004, ISBN: 0-8047-4908-6

Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Harper & Row Publishers, 1983, ISBN: 0-06-090854-8

No comments:

Post a Comment