Reviewed: June 2020
Released: 2020, Pure Steel Records
Reviewer: Rossy Maguire
ANCIENT CURSE is neither an ordinary power metal formation nor a prog metal band. Founded in 1985, they are also not a typical band of the eighties because their storm and stress phase emerged in the mid-1990s with one mini and two full-length albums.
Two and a half decades ago they played in this line-up: singer/guitarist Pepe Pierez (ex-Sons of Seasons), guitarist Gunnar Erxleben (ex-Riot Instinct), bassist Thorsten Penz (G.L.A.S.S.) and drummer Matthias Schröder. With their comeback “The New Prophecy” in 2020, the band from Bremen showed all their steel power and played in nine new songs in which power metal is touched by teutonic speed metal and even a little bit in direction of thrash metal. The overall sound proliferates with a considerable variety, which can be called progressive, but also simply imaginative. ANCIENT CURSE has found a unique style.
“We Follow The Signs” opens the album with a slow but powerful intro, setting the scene for the rest of the album. From about 1:30 mins into the song, the tempo rapidly changes and the power metal elements come to life. This is later supplemented by an enjoyable and complex guitar solo.
These components carry on throughout the album to make it a strong addition to ANCIENT CURSE’s discography. However, I did find some pleasant deviations in style such as “One Moment Of Fortune”’s second half sounding similar to stoner metal or “Mind Chaos”’s calmer and slower nature in its sound.
One song I particularly enjoyed was “Man Of The Storm”, as the song starts with calm and clean vocals that are aided by a guitar for its intro. This is an added benefit as there is a build-up with a heavy guitar riff for the first verse of the song, further preceded by strong rhythmic sections. This then changes in the second half with an increased tempo and heavier sounds from all instruments. Due to this, it felt like a culmination of two different songs to create an epic 9:14 minute track.
Although listening to the album was an enjoyable experience, I did find a lot of the songs sounded quite generic and found myself feeling a little disinterested with the album. This is a contradiction though, as I felt the album was fed more life from its final song, “Prophecy”. Reminiscent of the first song on the album, this was welcomed as being the fastest one of the album and a great finisher to The New Prophecy.