Released: 2003, Rage of Achilles
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Life is a little different way up in the “true frozen North” of Alberta, Canada, where snowmobiling and ice fishing are legitimate occupations, and the residents do not get out of their homes much (sorry, Canadians...just having fun with you guys up there). In any case, one may safely speculate that Alberta’s Underlord have not set foot outside the year 1986 if their sound is any indication.
RISE OF THE ANCIENT KINGS is 36 minutes of black metal heavily influenced by the classic bands such as Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Bathory, and Venom. This is about as pure and primitive as it gets: no symphonics or keys, no Viking influences, no female vocals, no grind, no blastbeats. As soon as the gong hits and starts the album, the first thing I notice about this album is the intense heaviness. Thick riffs in the speed-death style coupled with an underproduced atmosphere produces absolutely crushing doom in a gigantic wall of sound.
This album has a little bit from various styles of thrash, speed, death, doom and traditional metal, as well as a combination of each. Every song on here is consistent in quality, and Underlord manages to throw sufficient variation into each song to maintain a sound true to the old school ideals without sounding like total ripoffs. While I enjoyed every song on this album, the scathing speed metal on “Feast of the Revenant” and “At Satan’s Behest” are the two that get my head banging most furiously. Other highlights are the thrashy “War of the Tyrants” and the filthy, heavy “The Warlock.”
RISE OF THE ANCIENT KINGS is a massive slab of metal paying homage to the ancient traditions of the forefathers of black metal. Crank this one up loud!