The Cainian Chronicle

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The first Metal Blade release from Ancient, a black metal combo fronted by Norwegian transplant Aphazel, The Canian Chronicle is a surprisingly mature and memorable collection of hellish invocations. Evil guitar riffs, frenetic drumming, demonic screeching, and orchestral backdrops place this squarely in the Scandinavian black metal tradition, but Ancient also displays an admirable penchant for exploration on longer excursions like the four-part title track and the eight-plus minute "Song of Kaiaphas." And despite the largely unnecessary presence of his utterly disposable and ridiculous henchmen (pictured in spooky cloaks and corpse make-up -- oooh, scary!), Aphazel himself is clearly not messing around.

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