Release DetailsLABEL Northern Storm Records
RELEASED ON 2/25/2006
Will of the Ancients
posted on 5/2006 By:
Following hot on the heels of me reviewing some damn impressive and highly enjoyable independent/obscure albums courtesy of Spiritual Dissection, Clad In Darkness, and Wolven Ancestry I’m proud to bring you another installment in bands who deserve more respect and exposure: Toronto based band Will of the Ancients.
WotA is composed of four previous Ockham’s Razor members (Jordy Steinberg, Tristan Biggar, Tom Gendron and Steve Walton), recently departed ex-Blood of Christ drummer Jason Longo, and finally keyboardist Colin Attlsey (ex-Visions of the Night). However, I mention this not to simply read the liner notes or to just regurgitate the band's dictated biography to you; I absolutely hate sounding like a living advertisement. I mention their past musical involvement in order to stress that Will of the Ancients is by no means a band of novice musicians. Their caliber of musicianship and quality of songwriting displays an excellent level of proficiency.
They play a style of black metal that while not conventionally symphonic, encompasses the keyboard reliance of bands like Stormlord and Old Mans Child with a poignant emotional flourish of razor sharp riffs and grandiose melodic lead lines. Guitarists Tristan and Tom lay down riff after riff of solid and superb melodic black metal backed by the solid melodic support of the bass lines while vocalist Jordy’s frightening, flesh-ripping scream builds an unbearable tension countered perfectly by Steve’s back up vocals. While they might have a fairly common foundational style, black metal tinged with more melodic flourishes, this is by no means the only variation. Will of the Ancients seamlessly encompasses territory not too dissimilar from bands such as Thyrfing or Windir within their sound. Surprisingly, the song structure is not always the conventional black metal structure, with many influences creeping in that are more founded in death metal. Similarly the overall delivery itself is more riff oriented and direct than the majority of the genre, while they may utilize traditional harmonic progressions that might sound slightly one dimensional, the gravity and depth of the delivery all but makes up for the slight lack of originality.
The wrathful vehemence displayed on “Battle for the Sky” and “Epistemological Conundrum” plays perfectly against the rollicking opening and ominous melodic mid section of the phenomenal “Between Stagnation and Infamy”. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get “Curse of Thrones”, where the album reaches a grandiose pinnacle of fluidity and intensity before the solemn folk tinged “Bard’s Tale” and into epic closer “The Artifact”. WotA is constantly countering their scathing black metal with the softer elements ala keyboards and clean vocals. The songs constantly build and flow through stylistic changes adding a great level of intricacy as well as the excellent dynamic tension between sections.
Will of the Ancients is the first release from Northern Storm Records and one hell of a step in the right direction. This is another prime example of superb Canadian extreme metal, placing Will of the Ancients on my up and coming list of bands to take note of. While not a revolution within themselves, they offer an extremely solid blend of black metal that will undoubtedly grow into a juggernaut of excellence given the time to perfect their art.
Register to post comments.