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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Ancestors Blood/Heervader - split

This split album was supposed to be released a couple of years ago. Eventually it became December 2015. This is a good thing as now Ancestors Blood gets to add 3 tracks to the split recorded live at the Veneration of the Dead festival in the Netherlands (also the last live performance of the band).

Heervader play a melodic style of pagan black metal. Mostly in mid tempo and drenched in keyboards and the tremolo picked riffs typical to the genre. Vocals are screamed in native Dutch and mixed with spoken word/clean backing vocals. The vocals are easy to identify making it more easy to follow what the lyrics are about if you're from the Netherlands. All three songs are at least 6 minutes and contain enough diversity to keep you interested after several listens. The only part that feels misplaced, in my opinion, is the spoken word intro in "Bloedbroeders van de Aarde". Apart from that, the Heervader part of the split is solid, but not groundbreaking.

By comparison, the Ancestors Blood part of the split feels more powerful, reminding me more of Stormblast era Dimmu Borgir, for example, albeit with more impressive vocals. The keyboards are louder in the mix and the vocals are more impressive. The tempo is a bit lower overall but this only benefits the atmosphere of "Deceiver for Power and Glory".

As mentioned before, Ancestors Blood's contribution to the album is one studio track and 3 songs that are recorded at their last ever performance, at the Veneration of the Dead festival in the Netherlands. You immediately hear that these recordings are rawer. With a more pronounced guitar and raspier vocals. This suits the music well. One thing I find weird, is that they filtered out the crowd response, but they did include the "onstage banter". It's weird to hear the band announce a song title and not hear any response. I personally wish they would have either mixed the banter out as well or kept the crowd in and make it a true live recording. Apart from that, this is the superior part of the split.

In conclusion: For me, personally, the Ancestors Blood part of the split was way more powerful then the Heervader tracks and I found myself listening to those tracks way more often. I personally wasn't familiar with Heervader and this split album has not made me want to check them out. Ancestors Blood, however, I do like and me being at the festival these songs were recorded at, I enjoyed reliving the memories.

Score:60/100 for Heervader side 77/100 for Ancestors Blood

1. "Heervader - Berserkgangr"
2. "Heervader - Bloedbroeders van de Aarde"
3. "Heervader - Voorwaarts!"
4. "Ancestors Blood - Deceiver for Power and Glory"
5. "Ancestors Blood - Ritual of the Sacred Dance"
6. "Ancestors Blood - Revelation (Beyond Death)"
7. "Ancestors Blood - Rise of the Spirits of Ancient Heroes"

Written by Doctor Chris

Ancestors Blood Official Website
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