Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ancient Wisdom

Ancient Wisdom - The Calling
Avantgarde Music, 1997
Genre: Black Metal

1. The Awakening Of The Ancient Serpent
2. The Calling Of Nocturnal Demons
3. As The Twelve Legions Of Angels Died
4. In The Profane Domain Of The Frostbeast
5. Spiritual Forces Of Evil In The Heavenly Realms
6. And To The Depths They Descended
7. At The Stone Of Ancient Wisdom
8. Of Darkness Spawned Into Eternity
9. Through The Mist Of Dusk They Arose And Clad The Sky With Fire

The main reason I first heard of this project is because of Marcus Norman being the one and only guy in it, and I figured since I enjoy Naglfar I’d probably enjoy the guitarist’s solo project also.  Not to mention I already enjoy the music Throne of Ahaz puts out, a band which he is also a member of, so I figured the chances were in my favor that I’d like this. Now I still to this day have not heard the debut album from this project, so I won’t be comparing the first release at all to this one.

From being in bands like Throne of Ahaz and Naglfar I sort of expected some very raging Black Metal here, and much to my surprise this is a very slow and somber sounding project.  There are no blast beats to be found on any of these songs.  Rather they are composed in a more thoughtful manner and have a more melancholy outlook to the song arrangements.  This album somewhat reminds me a little of Naglfar’s “Vittra” because there is quite an abundance of keyboard arrangements.  However, coupled with the slow paced guitar arrangements this gives the album a totally different outlook and feel.  I’d even compare the approach to an even Doom styled feel rather than anything Black Metal. 

I must say that I really do love a lot of the keyboard arrangements found throughout this album and I hope in future releases he adds even more because Marcus seems to be someone who knows his way around the keys.  Although, the one draw back to the album is that the whole somber sounds of melancholy and what not get kind of tedious to listen to after about a half hour.  It sounds very good, but the songs aren’t very different from one to the next.  The main reason I know they are changing is because there’s a bunch of piano interludes between tracks. 

Another not so exciting aspect of this album is the drumming which just kind of beats a long.  Sometimes there’s mid-paced double bass, which is the most interesting thing that happens drum wise on this album.  So don’t expect anything impressive from the drums.  However, you can expect some fairly well written guitar lines that meld together seamlessly and it’s actually quite beautiful, reminds me of early Katatonia at times.  The vocal work is rather monotonous and I’m glad they have a separate vocalist for Naglfar because for this release Marcus’ vocals work, but I don’t think he could pull of the ferocity needed on a Naglfar recording.

If you’re looking for some dark depressing music that won’t force you to pay attention to it then this is a great release to listen to.  I would even venture to say that it’s a great piece to relax to, because it’s not something that’s going to get you pumped up or get intense.  So check out Ancient Wisdom if you want to hear what a Doom oriented Black Metal project would sound like.

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