Will of the Ancients
Will of the Ancients

True story:

So I recently went through a Stormlord revival phase and while listening to the bands superb Supreme Art Of War I was messages on myspace by the owner of Canada’s Northern Storm Records, asking if I would mind reviewing the label’s first effort, the self titled debut from Toronto’s Will of The Ancients. So I told him sure send it over and headed to the bands myspace page to check them out.

I thought I was still listening to Stormlord.

Yup-Will of the Ancients plays a form of epic synth heavy, fantasy themed blackened war metal –and it’s pretty good; If you like Stormlord and such. Its heavy handed, it’s cheesy, it’s screechy, raspy, blasty, melodic and full of over the top moments of rousing high fantasy grandeur (i.e. “Epistemological Conundrum” pretty much fills all those in one song), but overall it’s a pretty solid release and will certainly fill the void if you miss Stormlord and enjoy other epic, symphonic fantasy/war based black metal.

Granted, the band could tighten things up a bit, but on the whole, the 10 interlude/segue free tracks are pretty solid. Opener “Battle for the Sky” sets the tone right of the bat with an immediate keyboard blast and intense salvo that continues for “Between Stagnation and Infamy”. The album’s first mid tempo song “Lords of the Sea” is a standout amid the fervent blasting as is the album’s other standouts, the chant filled “Bard’s Tale”, “Behind Her Eyes” and “Steel Resounds”, all more restrained and comprehendible songs with more variety and moods amid the sweeping majestics. Otherwise, the tracks are pretty continually fervent blasts of epic, keyboard heavy black metal (“Battle for the Sky”, “Sleeper Awakes”, “Curse of Thrones”, “The Artifact”); enjoyable in their own World of Warcraft meets black metal visage, and again, (I hate to keep bringing them up) it fills a void until Stormlord get their act together.

Like I said though, WOTA could use some tightening, and with a new singer and drummer vacancies filled by more competent folks (those interested please apply), might fix some of their rough around the edges issues as musically and production wise they are fine and I look forward to hearing more.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 14th, 2007

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