Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 7/13/2004
posted on 9/2004 By:
Look who decided to stop by. It's Ancient, a once legendary band I declared to have become one of the most ridiculous and piss-poor acts in all of black metal. I'd trot around and even at the mention of the name I'd begin shouting obscenities and cursing their promo photos. Needless to say, I was rarely invited to unearth rare artifacts or to museum exhibitions featuring the art of the early Mesopotamians.
Showing their grim Norweigan influences part of the time and periodically featuring what I can only imagine is one of the band member's girlfriends on backing vocals, it's good to see they're still pretty fucking cheesy. The guitar leads remind me of rejected Joe Satriani bridges. The vocals are occasionally whispered. The lyrics are coherent and horrible. The drumming sounds stale half the time and the songs sound like they were hastily pasted together. I feel like I should be hitting myself in the head with a hammer on the snare drum hits.
Now, I'm no black metal purist or anything, but maybe I'm being a bit too hard on Ancient's Night Visit. True, it's pretty watered down black metal full of tedious guitar leads, uninspired riffs, and monotone vocals. But the fact of the matter is, although it's a horrible black metal album, it's probably a good...uh....well. I mean. It's uh....good...yeah, I don't know. A good album if you haven't really heard any black metal before. It's brainless, but it's still sort of fun. And Fredrik Nordstrom did a fairly good job with the production. Or something. I don't fucking know. It's got atmosphere.Yeah. At least it's got atmosphere. Really artificial and false feeling atmosphere, complete with violins. But it's atmosphere. And when they do actually break into some of the more "raw" sounding passages, they're not half bad. It's just too bad they can't maintain a level of consistency throughout Night Visit.
I don't understand who they're aiming at. Fans of supposed "fake" black metal bands like COF and Dimmu Borgir won't like it because it's not dynamic enough. Fans of actual black metal won't like it because of their odd approach, great production, and...because it's really not good. No one wants to hear Norweigan black metal spliced with idiotic keyboards and Surfin' With the Alien guitar riffs. So who's left? Who will step up to the plate and try to enjoy Night Visit? Fat girl fans of Type O Negative craving more aggression in their tunes? Skinny 14 year old boys desperately seeking an "underground" band they can cling to? I haven't a fucking clue.
Although I've totally trashed this, I can't give it that bad of a score. Ancient has truly improved, as reluctant as I am to say it. Night Visit is a shoddy and boring album, but it's not intolerable and it has an easily digestable sound. And I have to admit that the final tripped out track, "Out In The Haunted Woods", is pretty cool. I can see people actually liking this soulless borefest. It's not that good, nor is it that bad. It's simply "fine". Ultimately, though, it's a disposable and unrewarding listen that I can't recommend.
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