Rating:
8.5
Ancient Bards - Soulless Child
18 November 2011


01. Struggle For Life
02. To The Master Of Darkness
03. Gates Of Noland
04. Broken Illusion
05. All That Is True
06. Valiant Ride
07. Dinanzi Al Flagello
08. Soulless Child
09. Through My Veins
10. Hope Dies Last


I was initially quite embarrassed by seeing on my Ipod "Artist" list the pretty lame name of Ancient Bards between the more celebrated ones of Amorphis and Angra but, just after the first listen, I could neatly answer to the following question posed by a classmate: "What the fuck is Ancient Bards?"

Ancient Bards is going to be one of the standard-bearers of the new symphonic metal era. Ancient Bards is the last miracle coming from Italy, a band born 120 kilometers away from my hometown. Ancient Bards is a name that (even if it sucks, I know) shouldn't be forgotten that easily by every power metaller, because we'll soon hear of them.

Their second full-length album, Soulless Child, follows in exactly the same vein which was introduced with their debut The Alliance Of The Kings, that is a fast, highly technical, epic female fronted symphonic metal. Obviously, these young guys are hugely influenced by their well-known compatriots, Rhapsody Of Fire, but they are far from being a sterile clone. Ancient Bards has its soul and no fear to show it.

The main difference between the aforementioned bands is also this band's strength: the singer. Sara Squadrani is undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of the last years: her voice fits perfectly in every mood, brave and epic in "To The Master Of Darkness", whispering in "All That Is True", aggressive, with the help of some male screaming, in "Through My Veins". But this band is far from being a one man woman show. In fact, every member shows huge skill, and even the often mistreated bass finds his fundamental space, with also some pretty cool solos.

But this album isn't all a bed of roses. The main thing I disliked is the lack of originality in the lyrics. Despite being evocative and accurate concerning the structure, they center on the boring, sickly and overused topic of warriors, etc. In addition to this, Soulless Child could be a lethal overdose of cheesiness for anyone who is not used to it.

But these are blemishes which only slightly affect this album's quality. Altogether, this is a great release, which confirms the good impressions created from the debut album. Ancient Bards can be the rising star in metal, but they won't raise the bar unless they evolve their style, detaching from this genre swollen with stereotypes and easy criticism.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Ancient Bards
Album: Soulless Child


 


written by R Lewis | 25.01.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Draugen - 30.01.2013 at 15:06  
Although I consider their debut to be a better album than this, it is still a really solid release in all its cheesiness.

Well written review!

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