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Review: Ancara - Beyond the Dark
Beyond the Dark

Label: Metal Heaven
Year released: 2008
Duration: 43:55
Tracks: 10
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: April 27, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Beyond the Dark

Rated 2.83/5 (56.67%) (6 Votes)

Label debut for Finnish act Ancara, and after an interminable ream of Folk/Gothic Metal newcomers over the past year or so, it's a refreshing change to hear something a little different from their homeland. Recorded under the watchful eye of Nightwish/Brother Firetribe guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, Beyond the Dark is a short, snappy album of punchy, mid-paced melodic metal that often resembles a darker Altaria, but at times recalls modern Amoral and Tarot, with splashes of Silent Voices sprinkling their intricate arrangements with a sophisticated sheen. Tracks like catchy opener "Circles" and the unforgettable "Scared" are real stompers that'll have you singing along within minutes, while the almost pop-like melodies of "Deny" and "When Everyone Else Is Gone" tip the commercial scales a little further in their favour, letting the crushing heaviness of the guitars accent the raw power of Sammy Salminen's leather-lunged vocals during moments of pure melodious bliss.

The Finnvox production is pristine as usual, but as short as Beyond the Dark is, most tracks don't live up to the immediacy of the opener, and after a while the lack of increased pace invites the first yawns to appear. Still, those bored with candy-apple Power Metal will find a nice respite in Beyond the Dark, and if Ancara can just harness the kind of energy displayed on this album's highlights, they could have a very exciting future ahead of them.

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