Released: 2009, Stormspell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Hailing from San Antonio, Texas comes Ancient Cross with their long awaited self titled debut CD just released by Stormspell Records. The packaging is very nice with a collage of photos, lyrics, liner notes and even an OBI strip for the discerning Japanese metal aficionado. The self titled release limited to 1,000 copies; also has a pretty awesome album cover that accompanies the metal that awaits within nicely.
ANCIENT CROSS is comprised of eight tracks of traditional heavy metal; vintage in feel and modern in production; that is very much in the realm of Accept, Maiden and Priest. The killer two guitar tandem of Mike Rodriguez and Joe Esquivel complemented by Michael Lance's classic sounding mid-range/upper mid range vocals makes for an enjoyable listen. Drummer Miguel Morales also demonstrates some superb syncopated drum fills and helps propel the group's intensity with his steady in the pocket delivery.
You can expect loads of guitar solos on this disc. Lot's of melodic leadwork as well. Make sure to check out such tracks as live favorite "The Queen Is Dead" a track so in tune with it's traditional metal roots; "In Dreams" with it's soaring and hypnotic chorus and the disc's hypnotic ballad "The Hourglass"
ANCIENT CROSS is a strong debut effort and is sure to hold the listener's attention from the get go. I will definitely wait with eager ears for a follow up record from Ancient Cross.