Ancestral Legacy – ‘Nightmare Diaries’ (Femme Metal Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Whistance   
Monday, 29 March 2010 06:00

NightmareDiariesNorwegian five-piece Ancestral Legacy are far from being the new band on the heavy metal block having spent the last decade carefully honing their craft, supporting such established bands as Sirenia and Ulver, whilst also putting their name on the lips of every metal head far from their Norwegian homeland.


Initially starting their career as a fully-fledged death metal band they have since morphed their musical style into a more symphonic sound. without dispersing of their death metal roots completely.


After such an industrious first ten years, it's hard to believe that 'Nightmare Diaries' is in fact their debut offering, deciding on the DIY ethic and recording the album themselves. They also have a secret weapon on board in Areturus's Knut Magne Valle who has produced such luminaries as black metal legends Mayhem and Rotting Christ, and gives their debut album the type of production it so rightly deserves.


I haven't exactly made it a secret that I'm not a huge fan of female fronted heavy metal bands, but I'm not talking the deathly howl of Holy Moses' Sabina Classen or the mighty Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy here, no I'm talking the melodic female voice favoured by Nightwish, Leaves Eyes and many more across the European metal scene. My main concern about this particular genre is that I do find the vocals too alike at times.


So on album opener 'Out Of The Dark And Into The Night', I sat listening intently. The female vocal part kicks in and as per usual I feel myself reaching for the forward button when the deathly growl of Eddie Risdol takes over, giving the number a more diverse feel whilst turning my attention around completely. Throughout the album, the yin and yang of the two conflicting vocal styles continues to great effect proving this is one partnership that works brilliantly. There are a few moments when personally I'd like to address the balance of vocal styles preferring the death metal vocals over the female melodious style, but when they do get the balance right such as on 'Separate Worlds' and 'My Departed' they produce pure heavy metal brilliance.


I've observed through attending European metal festivals over recent years that female fronted heavy metal bands are extremely admired by our European cousins along with the vastly expanding death metal scene. Ancestral Legacy then are the perfect blend of both genres that will get the metal heads salivating into their horns of mead.


Since recording this album vocalist Elin Anita Omholt has left the band due to health reasons and has been replaced by Mexican Isadora Cortina. On the evidence of this fine debut I believe Ancestral Legacy have a promising career ahead, and they are a band I'd love to check out for myself on the live circuit.


Now let's just hope we haven't got to wait another decade for their next offering.