ANCIENT BARDS — Soulless Child (review)

ANCIENT BARDS — Soulless Child album cover Album · 2011 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Warthur
As big of a Dungeons & Dragons nerd as I am, you'd expect me to be more into Rhapsody of Fire-esque symphonically-inclined power metal bands, but the fact is that I find the output of such bands a little hit or miss, so inclined are they to pile on layer after layer of guitar solos, orchestras and cheese that songwriting and compositional technique rather goes by the wayside.

Imagine my pleasure, then, to stumble across the work of Rhapsody's fellow countrymen Ancient Bards. Sara Squadrani's lead vocals might make some listeners think of Nightwish, but overall what we are looking at is far more in Rhapsody of Fire's court: a high fantasy concept album in which orchestral arrangements are just as significant as what the band themselves are getting up to.

What makes the album for me is the way the band show exceptionally good taste when it comes to the balance between orchestral sections and band-led sections. It's this sense of restraint which, paradoxically, gives their compositions more impact; because they judge so finely when to have the orchestra swell up or when to have the band let rip, when they do let loose it's far more effective than it would have been if they'd kept things cranked up to 11 for the whole running time.

What results is an entertaining enough album, but though the band seem to have got the balance of the various ingredients of their musical stew right, there isn't enough of the spice of novelty to really make this much of a keeper if you've already got a decent Rhapsody collection.
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J-Man wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I think I need to hear this one! Nice review! :-)

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