Released: 2003, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
“Dark Metal” for a change... Since the always mighty Thy Serpent I haven´t heard any potential Dark Metal acts hailing from Finland... until now. Mirzadeh could be considered as some sort of a ´newbie´ for the Dark Metal scene. The band was formed as late as 2000, but according to their back catalogue of demo releases, they have been quite busy since the band took its first firm steps on the ground. After recording a truck-load of songs for 3 demos and several compilation CDs (off which could be mentioned a Cradle Filth–tribute CD on Deadline Records), the dark metallers in the Mirzadeh camp end up recording and releasing their debut full-length CD on their own, recording 5 brand new songs for it and adding 3 other songs from their latest demo, SWEET SOULS OF SHADOWS, into it, too.
Mirzadeh´s Black Metal-flavored Dark Metal has reached quite a matured musical form within a period of three years. The guy´s mid-tempo, well moving and melancholic Dark Metal has been done thoroughly with both good taste and understanding what Dark Metal is supposed to be all about musically and even the band´s lyrical approach adds a nice depth into their songs where some pagan and shamanic religions of the ancient Finland play a major role.
“Under the Veil of Immortal”, the 2nd song on the band´s self-financede debut, is basically that kind of song from these relatively young Dark Metal warriors that I´d like to hear them developing their own murky and mystical Dark Metal toward in the future. It has lots of variation from some melodious slow-paced parts to some faster and more mean parts that keep Mirzadeh´s dark-ish metal manifestos interesting for a listener, never repeating any parts more than twice which should be a definite plus for them.
“Verenkantaja” (“Bloodbearer”) is one of those tracks that actually bring Finland´s Black/Dark Metallers maestros Ajattara in my mind due to that simple fact the song has been sung in Finnish and Mirox´s black-ish shrieks approach the same kind of insane vibes that Ruoja usually has on Ajattara´s albums. But it´s of course purely coincidental for sounding occasionally like someone else nowadays, I guess. So let he will be forgiven...
“Winter Ceremony” is another song on ANCIENT RITES that speaks for the guys´ potential volumes to be like ´Dark Metal´s super-stars´ or whatever... Again, expect similar elements that were to be found from the song “Under the Veil...”, with a more melodic edge being added into this song, tho. Then, as the last one out of the new songs they have recorded for their very promising debut, Exitus, the band´s keyboard player is obviously an admirer of Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish as this 2-minute instrumental tune is pure Nightwish from start to finish. To deny this hard, but definitely justified observation, would be foolish from him.
The three demo songs from their SWEET SOULS OF SHADOWS demo in the end of the disc, have all more stripped down atmospheres of Dark Metal´s true essence even if I can honestly say still liking the songs quite much myself. Especially the last song called “Apostate in Orgy” with its nearly old Amorphis-like, hauntingly crawling guitar parts. Now that´s a good ending song for the album, too.
In conclusion it could be said that ANCIENT RITES was absolutely a good head-start from these young metal musicians who seem to have more than just a pocketful of sparking ideas resting in their brains in the realm of a non-fashionable supermarket of Dark Metal these days. Doors are open 24 hours for them each day, so feel free to enter in any time you want and get to know them a bit better.