I feel my missing out on Ancient Bards was more due to their name being so similar to other bands, such as the progressive metal band Anciients and about 100 other bands with this word in the beginning of their name. Ancient Bards should stand out as this Italian symphonic metal band has an incredible sound, including operatic tendencies that are not unlike other Italian symphonic metal bands whose members also appear on this record. A New Dawn Ending is the band’s third album in a very short career, which seems to be on the rise. Holy shit, it is like a full circle of wonderful things.
For those, like me, who missed this band, Ancient Bards is made up of competent musicians lead by Sara Squadrani, whose vocals are different than traditional power metal but not entirely out of place. While Squadrani’s vocals are not lacking in any area, they are not as superhuman as other power metal projects. This could be considered a slight, however, Ancient Bard’s music is more about the combination of talents and the support of the instrumentation than about lyrics alone. The vocals combined with the excellence heard in guitar, bass, and drum work makes, perhaps not a standout, but a solid and capable record.
A New Dawn Ending makes some effective yet traditional choices for song structure. Alongside some 6 to 7 minutes tracks are the standard power metal odyssey’s. Songs like “Showdown” and the closing title track work so well because of the band’s dedication to bringing epic level encounters into the music. Ancient Bards is not concerned with fighting rats and petty goblins, rather riding a celestial creature headstrong into a battle full of dragons. A New Dawn Ending is not a new horizon in power metal but something that is well produced and almost endlessly entertaining. I could not ask for more.
Album: A New Dawn Ending
Released: April 25th, 2014
Label: Limb Music GmbH
Score: 5/9 Hammers