Friday, March 1, 2024
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Label: Crusader Records

Date: April 1st, 2022

After one EP and four singles, international melodic death metal band, Ancient Settlers, released their debut album “Our Last Eclipse” on April 1st (not a joke).

The band was formed in 2020 involving musicians from the United States, Venezuela, Spain, Portugal and Finland. More than enough to catch my attention. Whatever is out of the track simply wakes up my curiosity. Officially, the band was formed in San Sebastian. It could easily have an epithet super group or super band, since and in the end Fredrik Nordström as a producer gives significant seal to the whole project.

As they say they wanted to: “explore the frontiers of modern melodic deathmetal armed with strong guitar riffs, captivating synth effects and a use of diverse sounds and rhythms”. The lyrics are focused on: “the recent tragedies affecting the Earth and the human race”.

“Our Last Eclipse: The Settlers saga Pt. 1” contains ten songs. Quality is not questionable in any way. The band, relatively young (if we put aside personal careers of band members), showed a high level of professionalism, maturity and consistency. From the start they deliver power. The first song “Into the Depths I Ride” is a fast tempo song followed by the video released in November 2021. The video included images from the ” Autumunus Europe Tour”. The song itself is simply bone crusher. At least for me, the highlight of the song is the catchy chorus as well as drum section. Since the band experiments with a bit of a modern sound, do not be surprised by adding synths. 

Intro in “Cast in Gold” is more than surprising, actually it makes you think there is an error on the CD, but after 10 seconds, we are in the realm of Swedish melodic death metal influenced songs. Guitars and vocals colored the song, and if you add chorus the result might be the best song of the album. It is followed by Animated Sci-fi Short Film, as well as “Library of Tears” signed by Dronicon Films.

“Our Last Eclipse”, the title track, slows down a bit. Under the band’s opinion:

“Deeply guitar oriented, eminently cold, that makes the listener think they are watching stars collide in outer space in slow motion.”

Besides powerful drumming, the melody stands out, along with a guitar solo which accents high technical skills.

Another surprise, this time pop moment, awaits us in “Cerements”. Whatever and however objection I would have, not just at the pop elements but keys that I never liked too much, the moment when Antony Hämäläinen opens his mouth is the moment I forgive them everything. And if I mentioned that melody and magnificent guitar solos are the highlight of the album, allow me to change my mind. Synthesizers that I practically despise, and electronic dimension perfectly fit in each song.

“Jotnar Magick” tells the story about a giant taken from Norse Mythology. Here I would exclude magnificent song outro.

The next song, “Library of Tears”, is inspired by the movie “Blade Runner”. It incorporates well rhythmic parts with old school and new death metal and modern metal sound. The song was launched in 2021 along with the Animated Sci-fi Short Film.

In “Silent December” the accent is on the “strange” atmosphere that it creates. Narration parts enrich the song.

“Memories” is the song about all the people who had left their countries and my absolute favorite (besides “Cast in Gold”). At first, it is the most diverse song. It is melodic and crushing at the same time, both, lyrically and musically. It combines growl vocals with clean ones and with metal core vibe, all together great guitar solos and the chorus melody that desperately reminds on The Ramones “Poison Heart” simply wins.

“Black Rainbow” with acoustic intro, delivers nostalgic rhythm and the lyrics are aimed at the eternal question: is there a life after death? Heavy topic, heavy drums, melancholic atmosphere colored the song.

In the end: “Peregrination”. The journey comes to an end and contrary to expectations, the rhythm will not slow down, it accelerates. In the end of the song, it will really calm down the atmosphere and let us think about what the next journey will bring. 

Although I have prejudices, Ancient Settlers proved I was wrong. This is maybe the most interesting album I have heard in 2022 so far.

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