Ancient Rites

Five long years preceded the realization of Ancient Rites’ Rvbicon, and the wait proves to be well worth it for fans of these Blackened Folk trailblazers. However, neither time past nor shifts in the long-running Belgian outfit’s alignment have slowed the severe creativity relayed by this adeptly talented group.
The influences that Ancient Rites derive from both Pagan sounds and Classical music are still highly unmistakable on this album, and while these types of inspirations distance Ancient Rites from the more primordial and extreme, the band’s output is no less striking for the fact. While vocalist G’ Theys does not display a rasp in terms of presence, but his style fits the music well, being almost hypnotic on the record’s majestically Imperial sounding title track.
Much respect is due for the group’s ability to maintain vicious symbolism in coupling with melodic balance. Although tracks like ‘Invictus’ and ‘Mithras’ explore the sort of textures more prevalent in the Power Metal style, the appeal of Ancient Rites’ overall presence is no less threatening. Much accolades are in order for this album’s sundry sonic explorations, as throughout each and every track on the album, these masters of dark harmony prove without qualm that they are not only highly competent songwriters, but they also possess a drive for an execution of performance that is rare amongst like-minded acts.
While it’s not fair to label Rubicon as an outright BM album, it is highly worthy of those who enjoy the darker nature of music. Their posture against Christianity in favor of the beliefs of heritage will petition to many inclined to gravitate toward such perspectives, but the overall nature of this record may find more extreme practitioners to be a bit standoffish in terms of acceptance.
Nevertheless, if you enjoy a substantial quantity of melody with your blackened sensations, there can be no denying that this long-awaited set from these influential pioneers is an exercise that is patently worthwhile. For those who subscribe to epic anthems and dramatic musical sequences, you’ll find much moribund solace in the intensity of the astringent will of Ancient Rites.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erin Fox
September 30th, 2006


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