Ancient Rites - _Blasphemia Eternal_
(Mascot Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (6 out of 10)
Although Ancient Rites are generally tagged as a black metal band, it's kind of hard to see why. Maybe it's just their makeup, because on _BE_ (their second full-length), they favor a style much more akin to that of great 80's thrash bands like Sodom and (especially) Kreator - right down to the quiet-strings-meets-crunchy-riffing opening of their CD. More than anything else, they remind me of Kreator circa that band's first two albums, but with a somewhat less ferocious overall sound. _BE_ definitely contains some solid, thrashy material, delivered with competence and conviction - for proof, check out "Garden of Delights." Thrash metal lives or dies with the killer riff, though, and a lot of the riffs on this album are neither complex, nor catchy, nor all that energetic, which makes a lot of the songs hard to really get into. The vocals are mid-ranged and rather subdued (for an underground act), and the band cruises through most of their material at a pretty restrained speed. So as extreme metal goes, this is fairly tame stuff. Yeah, it has that 'old school' metal feel to it, but the real giants of the old school could just blow this stuff away in terms of energy and invention.

(article published 12/8/1996)

9/21/2003 Q Kalis 8 Ancient Rites - And the Hordes Stood As One
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3/14/1999 P Schwarz Deicide / Rotting Christ / Aeternus / Ancient Rites / Behemoth Dead by Dawn
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