ANCIENT BARDS - The Alliance Of The Kings

Ancient Bards - The Alliance Of The Kings

10 songs
58:29 minutes
***** ***


Unlike their band name, Italian band Ancient Bards from tourist town Rimini is still quite young. Founded in 2007, a demo was released already one year later. The Alliance Of Kings is the band’s official debut on Limb Music.

Considering how little experience the musicians have, it’s quite amazing to hear how mature they sound on this first effort. Their music is a mix between symphonic and power metal with a sufficient amount of kitsch that allows comparisons to bands like Rhapsody Of Fire and Freedom Call, although with the important difference that Ancient Bards have a strong voiced singer in Sara Squadrani who not only does not try to emulate Nightwish, but also does not sound like any other female metal vocalist.

Keyboarder Daniele Mazza is the main songwriter who has a good nose for arrangements but sometimes puts his synthesizers too much upfront. This is therefore also the only criticism one can come up with. Fans of well done fantasy metal get much to adore, from epic hymns over big choirs to festive atmospheres. The songs are played mostly quite fast, with no lack of pace changes though. There is an enormous amount of catchiness, performed by a band which is acting with a lot of precision. I especially like the two longer tracks Daltor The Dragonhunter and Farewell My Hero, both clocking in at over eight minutes. They come with a lot of pathos, helping them to a certain musical flair. Somewhat quieter is Lode Al Padre which surprises with medieval elements, allowing comparisons to Blackmore’s Night. The album ends on a fitting note of kitsch with Faithful To Destiny.

The Alliance Of The Kings is a concept album about four kingdoms that unite to fight with a hero and a magic sword against evil. Sounds silly, but matches the music. The intro and the short instrumental in the middle of the album are not that great, but the eight regular songs truly please, despite their generous lengths. Hats off to this young Italian band!

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