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On disc: Ancara



Bound To Roam (single) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Deny (single) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Beyond The Dark - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


www.ancarasite.com







Beyond The Dark

Beyond The Dark
(Metal Heaven - 2008)


The Finnish quartet Ancara is now back with their new album called Beyond The Dark. Their debut The Dawn was released on their own label in 2006 and made it into the album charts in Finland! The following EP - a cooperation with orchestral conductor Riku Niemi - got into the Finnish single Top 10! And Beyond The Dark did good in Finland - there it was released in 2007 - and will now be distributed in the rest of Europe through Metal Heaven. And so the European version comes with some bonus tracks - 2 audio tracks and the 2 video clips they did for this album.
Ancara open up with Circles, a heavy rocker which is obviously influenced by some 80's hard rock. A catchy up-tempo tune to catch the listener's interest. I like the warm sound of the album, quite 80's like. On the following Deny they work with 2 lead vocal parts - it sounds like 2 different singers, but Sammy Salminen has just a very good range... But as the guitarists Samuel Hjelt and Juha Wahlsten doing the backing vocals, it's possible that one of them did this... Due to this vocal part the song sticks out. No surprise this was their first single. With Snowflower they offer a powerful, balladesque song, but the vocals don't touch me.... They aren't intense enough... At Just For Me the backings are too dominating... Quite 80's arena rock-like. And even if Sammy Salminen handles the screams well, at some parts he sings in a higher tone it sounds a bit shaky.... Very heavy guitar riffs they offer at When Everyone Else Is Gone, but the vocals set a counter part. For me one of the highlights on this album. A song which needs a few spins to grow is In Silence, actually the song is easy to get in, but it needs time to grow and stay.
The bonus track The World from their EP has a slight Oriental touch due to the guitar and is more epic then the other tracks. But as that was a track recorded with orchestra conductor Riku Niemi it's no surprise. Actually I like their symphonic, bombastic sound - and think I should try to get a copy of that EP. The live version of Burning Hell shows them way heavier then on the album and gives a good idea about their live performance - and as it's a bonus track, I won't start to complain about the sound.. ;)
The album was produced by the band and co-producer Arto Tuunela and Emppu Vuorinen. Mastered by Mika Jussila. The songs are well performed, the guys know how to play, but it's the certain something which I miss... There are parts which they should overdo to improve and make the song stronger... A good album - and no fillers, but no killers, too. The songs have catchy melodies to hook you up, but they have no song which is really haunting you. No real ear catcher. But keep an eye on them, they do have the talent and the skills. And to quote an old saying about the 3rd album of a band, it's make it or break it. So let's see if they can make it with their next one!


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Deny

Deny
(self-released - 2007)


Ancara offer another websingle, but compared to Bound To Roam they are heavier at Deny. The new track is a power metal tune with crunchy guitars, melody and a cool hook line. The vocals of Sammy Salminen vary from emotional rock type to powerful, slightly aggressive vocals. The guitarist support the vocals, but add some nice melodies to the instrumental parts. A good tune, but somehow the vocals can't touch me... I can't really say what's missing, but download the single for free at the band's website and perhaps they can hook you up....


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 








Bound To Roam

Bound To Roam
(self-released - 2006)


For many metal fans - as for me - this is the first encounter with the Finnish foursome Ancara. They already have 2 promos and with this free websingle they try to convince the metal fans. Bound To Roam is a melodic heavy rocker and has a dark vibe. The male vocals have power and fit well, the female counter part is making it more interesting. The track reminds me a bit of a dark version of some early 90's track, but heavier and with more power, even a dash aggression... The refrain is catchy and hooks you up immediately. Cool tune! Hope to hear more of Ancara!
As this is a free download, there is no excuse not to check them out!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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