Completely unexpected after 17 years since their last release, Ancient Wisdom returns with ‘their’ mystical and enigmatic Atmospheric Black Metal. Being huge fans of the band’s earlier work, Marcus E. Norman keeps things simple and traditional while delivering 50 minutes of captivating music with an old-school vibe and tons of crafty ideas. If you like old-school Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal but with a more Atmospheric edge, you can’t miss out on “A Celebration In Honor of Death”.
Opening with the dramatic “Haec est Mors Secunda” we get lush operatic choir arrangements, sinister riffs, and an almost Doomy pace to start this release. Of course the band’s Black Metal roots instantly shine with the riffs of “Breaking the Circle of Life”, a track that nicely blends some Middle Eastern undertones to its powerful melodic passages and harsh snarls. Always focusing on creating weird and quirky tracks, songs like “Architect of Death - Laudamus Te” and “The Coronation” craft very unique atmospheres alongside funky guitars and interesting tempo changes, making the band’s diverse sound quite engaging and exciting.
Songs like “Those Who Do Not Exist” and “And God Saw” focus more on melancholy and remind us a bit of bands like Obtained Enslavement due to their very melodic and emotive vibe. Always focusing on their core sound, all tracks have a certain degree of heaviness, used more as a complementary tool to the additional creativity infused into the more playful tempo changes, and sinister and cinematic atmospherics.
Overall, “A Celebration In Honor of Death” is a timeless release that brings back memories of Ancient Wisdom earlier works, but also puts in contrast all the over-the-top Atmospheric Black Metal that exists these days, showing them that at times simple is more effective. As a one man project, this band continues to create unique soundscapes filled with sinister passages and a hefty dose of highly melodic BM elements.
|Band: Ancient Wisdom
|Album: A Celebration In Honor of Death
Label: Avantgarde Music
Release: June 4th, 2021
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal