Ancient Bards – “A New Dawn Ending” (2014)

Label: Limb Music

Review by Tony Cannella

In the realm of symphonic metal there are very few bands that are more epic and grandiose than Italy’s Ancient Bards. Not many that I can think of at the top of my head, anyway. With their 3rd album “A New Dawn Ending”, Ancient Bards brings the epic-ness to a whole new level and the results are majestic.

After a brief narrative intro that sets up the latest concept, the band launch into the powerful up-tempo, 8-minute track “A Greater Purpose”. Lead vocalist Sara Squadrani is simply awesome and the rest of the band is amazing as well. All of the elements are there, symphonic parts and choirs to add depth and texture to the songs. In the past Ancient Bards have been compared to fellow Italians Rhapsody of Fire, and while at certain times that comparison is merited the band have certainly taken steps to forge their own identity. Having said that, it is pretty cool to hear Rhapsody of Fire vocalist Fabio Lione performing a duet with Sara Squadrani on the track “The Last Resort”. The two vocalists are magic together on this track. The two songs that are sure to get the most attention are the 13-minute “Showdown” and especially the 16 ½-minute “A New Dawn Ending” which closes the album. Besides those songs there is some other pretty cool material, like: “Flaming Heart”, “Across This Life” and “In My Arms”, which the band has released a video for.

It is true that while symphonic metal may be one of the most polarizing sub-genres in all of heavy metal and while “A New Dawn Ending” may not find Ancient Bards gaining a whole new set of fans outside the genre, there is still enough diversity and thinking outside the symphonic metal box that may entice newer fans to join the club. Whether it does or doesn’t, with “A New Dawn Ending”, Ancient Bards may have, quite possibly released their defining album.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Before the Storm
  2. A Greater Purpose
  3. Flaming Heart
  4. Across This Life
  5. In My Arms
  6. The Last Resort (feat. Fabio Lione)
  7. Showdown
  8. In the End
  9. Spiriti Liberi
  10. A New Dawn Ending

 

Line Up

  • Sara Squadrani – Vocals
  • Claudio Pietronik – Guitars
  • Daniele Mazza – Keyboards
  • Martino Garattoni – Bass
  • Federico Gatti – Drums

 

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