Released: 2014, Limb Records
Ancient Bards are one of the most exciting Italian Power Metal bands in recent memory. I loved the first two albums and so the two-year wait for the third installment seemed like a long time! Very little has changed for our band of heavy metal heroes, the six-piece group is still on Limb records, the album cover was done for the third time by Power Metal hotshot Felipe Franco and it was recorded again in Domination Studios. All that consistency makes for better albums in my opinion. The only line-up change since the last album was the recent defection of Guitarist Fabio but he did still appear on the album.
The somewhat awkwardly titled A NEW DAWN ENDING is indeed the grand final chapter in the trilogy, ‘The Black Crystal Sword Saga-Part I. Will there be a second trilogy? We can only hope! AS benefiting the conclusion there are not one but two epic cuts, ‘Showdown’ and the title track each running over 13 minutes and the whole album runs well over an hour.Rhapsody would be proud. In fact I think we can safely say that they are proud to work with the band as Fabio Lione sings a duet with Sara on the cut ‘The Last Resort’.
I can thankfully ay that nothing has changed. Ancient Bards still play the ultimate in pulsating symphonic orchestrated Power Metal. Every element you would hope for, expect and even demand on this album are here; soaring female vocals, raging double-kick drums, huge orchestral flourishes and tons of dynamic speed and energy. While the predecessor SOULLESS CHILD may have had a slightly darker tone A NEW DAWN ENDING comes roaring back with an even more aggressive tone, more speed and greater levels of bombastic power. Sara is a vocal powerhouse and every member plays at the highest level of proficiency. I won’t ruin the story for you but the ending does not disappoint!
In just a few short years Ancient Bards have become one of the front-runners of this sweeping sound and style. A NEW DAWN ENDING is a fitting conclusion of the epic saga and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!