Ancestral - The ancient curse 4/5

Reviewed: 9-7-07


1. Freeborn
2. Lord of terror
3. The ancient curse
4. Sanctuary of the kings
5. Achille's fury (In Hector's death)
6. Time has gone by
7. Jalwink's fall
8. The walls of Troy
9. Eleanor Rigby

Featuring colorful cover artwork and with the popular European label Underground Symphony, Ancestral's full-length debut 'The ancient curse' is an Italian power metal CD that lands directly in the center of my tastes. Yeah, I've loved Italian power metal since the late 90s and new bands like Ancestral are always welcome in my metal world. Embedded mostly in the vein of Projecto, Sigma, Infinity, Soulblaze, Heavenblast, Darkfire, Athlantis, Shining Fury, Arthemis, Perpetual Fire, Shadows of Steel, Morgana, Seven Gates, or early Labyrinth and Vision Divine, the CD will quickly turn the heads of all those who are into Italian power metal.

Despite my long list of band comparisons, a few things have stood out with 'The ancient curse'; for one, the CD is chuck-full of speed and power, twists and turns, and it's fairly aggressive. This isn't a lightweight and happy power metal CD folks, the riffs are fast and furious, with plenty of heaviness. What's even more surprising, is there are no keyboards on 'The ancient curse', and really, the guitar work isn't quite what you'd expect from a standard Italian power metal band. This means that Ancestral is a band that could even appeal to those that aren't into Italian power metal.

In addition to the powerful music, while Mirko Olivo is your typical high-pitched Italian vocalist, he has some grit in his voice and he adds another slightly aggressive aspect to the CD. I can't think of a direct comparison to him, but maybe think of the type of evil twist Fabio Minchillo puts on his performance with The Prowlers, though Mirko's voice is definitely not to that extreme.

'The ancient curse' as a whole is consistent in quality, offering up one fast, catchy and powerful song after another. The slow/ballad-like track 6 "Time has gone by" (which is a great addition to mix things up a bit) is the only exception, so the band has surely chosen the aggressive approach, as opposed to a melodic one with fun and memorable choruses. This will be a good thing for many die-hard power metal fans and the CD is thoroughly enjoyable, which is most important. 'The ancient curse' is therefore highly recommended to fans of faster Italian power metal, but fans of any style of power metal need to make sure and check these guys out.




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