Occasionally, I like to listen to something that is completely different, musically, lyrically, and genre-wise, from what I normally listen to. When I do I often find myself wading through shit looking for that one diamond you know has to be there. This is how I found Nightwish, the one band I would cross multiple state lines to see and my guilty pleasure band. I looked in that direction this time, gothic symphonic metal, to see if I could find another gem. It took some finding and after all the searching I’m not entirely sure how I found them again but I did: Ancestral Legacy. At first glance the name makes me think of the pagan groups that troll Facebook by saying that white people are becoming an extinct race (let’s leave that there, I really don’t need to continue that), needless to say I was very hesitant to try them out.
I’m very glad I gave them a chance. There is something about them that defies genre. Half of the time on Terminal they sound like your typical, but good, symphonic female-fronted band and the other half of they sound like a blackened death metal band. It was an odd experience, listening to a Nightwish/Behemoth band but it was fun too. It took a few songs to really get into, but once I did I had to listen to it again.
The second time around I was able to focus less on the somewhat jarring, but remarkably subtle, changes in vocals and more on the actual music and production which, typical of symphonic bands was top notch, very high quality. I think that is one of the things I like about symphonic metal, their production is always amazing. Lyrically they are par for the course for a symphonic band but I didn’t really mind that, it was really fun to hear poetic and flowing lyrics in death growls.
They don’t sound like anyone either, in either of their Jekyll and Hyde forms. Their female vocals, provided by Isadora Cortina, are just as rich as Nightwish’s yet I think they flow better, especially when they meld with the harsh vocals. The two vocalists really work well together. A lot of bands that I’ve heard trying to do the clean/harsh vocal dynamic fail miserably because one or both of them have no idea what they are doing or how to meld the two stills, Ancestral Legacy know what they are doing. They don’t go back and forth so much within the songs that listening to them becomes uncomfortable, there is one shift, maybe two within a song and the transition from blackened death to symphonic, or vice versa prevents the other vocal style from sounding harsh or unnatural. It is a system that works well.
Symphonic metal, as long as it’s your thing or you can stand it, can be a beautiful and relaxing. For those that like symphonic metal or gothic metal, I think Ancestral Legacy will be a hit. If you aren’t a fan of symphonic metal, give it a shot.
As always, listen and support!