Released By : Femme Metal Records
Genre : Symphonic Black Metal
Elin Anita – Vocals
Eddie Risdal – Vocals, Guitars, Synths
Tor Larsen – Guitar
Anton Dead – Bass
Christopher Vigre – Drums
1. Out of The Dark And Into The Night
2. Separate Worlds
3. Chosen Destiny
4. Perhaps In Death
5. Trapped Within The Wind
8. Tomorrow’s Chance
9. …My Departed
10. The Shadow Of The Cross
The first thing that struck a chord with me when I got a promo pack from ANCESTRAL LEGACY, and that was just how much care had been taken in the overall product packaging. A deluxe, triple fold-out Digipak with high quality artwork, and a thick booklet that features all of the lyrics and some more very high quality artwork.
Quite often this sort of care is taken with a band’s third or fourth record, but the fact that NIGHTMARE DIARIES is their first official full-length release makes this feat all the more impressive.
After spending some time examining the outer packaging I was praying that the music held within would live up to my lofty expectations. Gladly, for the vast majority of this album I was well pleased. The style of music on NIGHTMARE DIARIES is of the Symphonic Black Metal variety, seemingly directly influenced by CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR. There’s nothing on the album that could be classed as on par with these two juggernaut bands, but it does get quite close, and maybe it’s just a matter of another album or two and ANCESTRAL LEGACY can become a household name, at least in Symphonic Black Metal households anyway.
Even though this is only the band’s second album, they have actually been in existence for around ten years now. Most of this time has been spend supporting a whole heap of bands that toured in their homeland of Norway, all the while doing quite a few headline shoes themselves. The fact that they have been playing together for so long goes a long way to explaining why the songwriting on this album is so good, with a natural chemistry that can only be formed over time. Apparently the band began as a more straightforward Death Metal act, before slowly adapting their sound to what it is today, and the traces of pure death metal certainly run ramapant throughout this album. The interesting twist to NIGHTMARE DIARIES is the extended use of a dual male/female vocal team, a move that used sporadically by a lot of other bands, but not used as a main ingredient like ANCESTRAL LEGACY do. The vocals are shared between the operatic and symphonic Elin Anita, who I hear actually left the band shortly after recording this album, and the harsher stylings of Eddie Ridsal.
The guitars also add another interesting twist, coming out with a very cold and gothic sound that really adds to the atmosphere that NIGHTMARE DIARIES serves up.
Highlights are many and come quite often, but have found myself quite smitten with SEPARATE WOLDS, TRAPPED WITHIN THE WIND and THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS. Those of you that read my reviews may have noticed by now my ever growing distain for most female vocalists, but that can be all pushed aside for this album as the male/female tag team is a great combo that is the feature point on most songs.
Very highly recommended for fans of CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR that don’t mind some operatic female vocals.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 8/10