Released: 2011, Heaven And Hell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Ancient Creation are a heavy metal band from Kansas City, Missouri who have been around since 2003. They have two previous full length records under their belts, making this new record MOONLIGHT MONUMENT their third release to date and first effort for new label home Heaven and Hell Records.
"Profane Destiny" kicks things off with some melodic harmonized twin guitar leads that at times recall early Fates Warning, due to their progressive nature. Vocalist Steve Bentley has a traditional feel to his mid-range vocals that compliments the band's music nicely. Ancient Creation guitarist's Peter Nisenkier and Maxx Christopher work incredibly well as a unit, as demonstrated on the rifftastic "Black Reflection" a tune that also showcases powerhouse drummer Kevin Keeton and his impressive footwork on the bass drums.
"With Anguish" begins at first with a brief clean guitar interlude before transitioning into some ghoulish graveyard riffs that only seem to exist to make the listener feel uneasy, with the hair on the back of their necks sticking straight up. There's a lot of twists and turns on this track, riffs stacked upon riffs and killer riffs at that.
"Through Prophets Eyes" continues down the path of darkened American power metal "with chops". There is a lot of technical guitar wizardry going on behind the scenes of the gray and gloomy metal goodness that makes up MOONLIGHT MONUMENT. The album comes to a close with the percussive and progressive title track "Moonlight Monument" and in true over the top fashion, takes no prisoners, burning everything in it's path with some blazing fretboard firepower.
The one department where this release is probably somewhat lacking would be the album's production, you can't help but wonder what these tracks would sound like with million dollar production. Yet at the same time, the old school production seems to add to the overall charm of this release. Because there is no noticeable clicky bass drum sound, it's likely there were no triggers used by Kevin Keeton, who really stands out as a consistently powerful and precise drummer.
A very solid release from a promising young band who stands poised to rise to the upper echelon of traditional American heavy metal. I would recommend this disc to fans of Twisted Tower Dire, Onward, and early Fates Warning. Really, if you label yourself as a metalhead period, MOONLIGHT MONUMENT has the accessibility to appeal to fans of most metal subgenres and the heaping helping of killer guitar riffs alone warrants the purchase price.