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Ancient - Trolltaar
Review: These two metal songs and one mellow instrumental prove simultaneously the power and simplicity of black metal. These compositions are extended but reduced in simplicity at the same time they are brought closer to the underlying compositional tastes of a mainstream society, which although disappointing is done in the style of an older almost stadium rock extravaganza that provides some humorous basis to enjoyment of these songs. However in the simple beauty of the fusion of function with frivolity is found the projection of epic fantasy that Ancient seek.
The songs are composed more like the songs from Enslaved's second album than any other black metal, with long cyclic riffs coming to emphatic closure and restarting, overlaid periodically by melodic guitar or background instruments without distortion. Each song moves through several riffs that are basically appended to one another in repeating sequences, and in a way reminiscent of Burzum almost randomly break into even broader structural revelations which although seemingly misplaced bring vast potential into motion with their context.
Over these moments of importance a jauntily inconsistent and straightforward melodic guitar solo stretches for life, sometimes revealing clearly the limitations of its player but placing a strong presence into the song.
The classic rock n roll cheese afflicting these songs does not detract from their epic nature, which creates itself in the illusion of communication that is only gesturing of a vast fantastic world. One can sense this EP is a transition process as each song projects a world and begins to reveal some of its nuance, drawing the listener into creating the world in his/her own mapping of reality.
The final track, a sound collage based around a simple guitar/keyboard riff evolution duet, builds an atmosphere of frigid lucidity in simple, inevitable elements that few ambient repetition freaks could do in a piece this simple. It's good stuff, although aesthetically unsettling and not as musically rewarding as the Ancient full length albums.