Album Reviews

Ancestral Dawn – Souldance Review

Released by: FC Metal Recordings

Release date: 17 March 2017

Genre: Power Metal

Links: Facebook

 

Lineup:

Jorge Higginson – Bass/Pan Flutes

Jorge Segersbol – Vocals

Devadip Chunga – Drums

Bryan Bello – Keyboards

Josue Castro – Guitars

Guest Musicians:

Roland Grapow – Guitars

Koko Rengifo – Guitars

Charlie Parra – Guitars

Edsom Romero – Guitars

 

Track Listing:

01. Endless Nightmare

02. The Traveller – feat. Fabio Lione  (Rhapsody/Angra)

03. Enter The Shaman – feat. Rick Altzi  (Masterplan/At Vance)

04. Rise Of The Ancestor – feat. Jonas Heidgert  (Dragonland/Destiny) & Rick Altzi 

05. Spiritual Flow

06. Leading To Nowhere – feat. Nathalie Markoch & Fabio Lione

07. Souldance  – feat. Mark Boals  (Yngwie Malmsteen) & Roland Grapow  (Masterplan/Helloween)

08. Whispers In The Grey – feat. Amanda Somerville  (Avantasia/Kiske-Somerville)

09. Stormhaze – feat. Ralf Scheepers  (Primal Fear)

10. The Eyes Of The Universe – feat. Rick Altzi, Mark Boals, Amanda Somerville, & Jonas Heidgert

 

When the debut for Peruvian power metal band, Ancestral Dawn, landed on my desk, I was intrigued. The first thing that caught my attention was the artwork. Not only was it well done, I felt it illustrated the album title profoundly. Secondly, I was amazed at the number and level of talented guest vocalists the band’s founder, Jorge Higginson, had acquired to perform this metal opera. 

Writing the majority of the music, Higginson does a fantastic job showcasing his skills on the bass guitar and also the pan flute. I’m a prog-metal fan at heart and I love to hear different variations of music infused into metal. The opening track, Endless Nightmare, starts as an instrumental prelude featuring the aforementioned pan flute.  But about a minute into it, the listener is hammered with an onslaught of power metal at its finest in The Traveller. The Traveller features the fabulous Fabio Lione and as usual, he doesn’t disappoint. The middle of this track slows down a bit as the band embraces their South American roots but then they’re right back into the attack. 

Enter The Shaman makes my ears perk every time it begins. It features Rick Altzi, who sounds similar to Jorn Lande (and it’s no wonder considering he, too, sang with Masterplan, albeit at different times), and does a great job demonstrating his gritty vocals. Ancestral Dawn’s main vocalist, Jorge Segersbol, is no slouch either and really complements Altzi with soaring vocals of his own. This song features an awesome instrumental section and I find myself “rewinding” over and over again. Be sure to check it out.

Rise Of The Ancestor was actually the first single from Souldance and received rave reviews from the fans. After recording it, Higginson was able to recruit the other band members as well as the guests that would eventually end up on the album. Rise Of The Ancestor features Jonas Heidgert of Dragonland fame and the aforementioned Altzi. If high-pitched vocals and speed metal are your thing, this track will suit you well. I’m tired just listening to it, I can’t imagine performing it. 

Spiritual Flow is a short interlude which features South American instruments. It lures the listener into a state of relaxation before getting pummeled by the following track, Leading To Nowhere. Once again, Fabio Lione is featured on vocals as well as Nathalie Markoch providing the growls. Leading To Nowhere has one of the best guitar solos on the album. The bass lines are thick. The keys are lightning fast. And the drums pound you into submission. Excellent track.

The title track features Mark Boals on vocals and Roland Grapow on guitar. It continues the power metal theme but has an awesome bridge in the middle of the song that brings the pan flute to the forefront once more. Have I mentioned I’m a fan of the pan flute? Truly, Higginson is masterful at integrating this incredible instrument. 

Whispers In The Grey is the lone ballad on Souldance. This track features Amanda Somerville in a duet with Segersbol. They exhibit pretty good chemistry and even though this isn’t my favorite song on the album, it’s a chance to catch your breath from the barrage up to this point. And you’re going to need it because Mr. Ralf Scheepers is next.

Stormhaze, which features Scheepers, was the second single released from the album. It begins with a crunchy guitar riff and once the band joins in, it’s a face-melting audio extravaganza. Scheepers and Segersbol both trade high notes while the band is in full-force.  Speed metal fans will be delighted. 

The anthemic Eyes Of The Universe closes the album quite nicely as four of the guest vocalists come together for a brilliant performance. The band really excels on this final track and honestly, makes you want to listen to the whole album again.

Souldance was a welcomed surprise and an impressive debut for sure. The members of this band are incredibly gifted and each musician performed prodigiously at their respective instrument. I cannot wait to see what is beyond the horizon for Ancestral Dawn.

Written by: Steve Howell

Rating: 8/10

 

Tell Us How You Feel

Comments