Reviewed: July 2021
Released: 2021, Avantgarde Music
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
It is nothing unusual for a band to take a long time between releasing new material, but 17 years is certainly eyebrow-raising – particularly when you wonder if time away from the studio has boded well for the talents and qualities of an artist.
Well, one can say that 17 years proved to be no challenge for Swedish atmospheric black metal musician Vargher and his one-man project, Ancient Wisdom. This is an album I would definitely offer to anyone who loves the epic and melodic sides of the atmospheric world and digs dungeon synth – which has really come into its own in the last few years.
If you enjoy black metal that sounds like a massive army of heavily armed troops marching into a glorious battle in a fantasy land like Mordor or Westeros, this album’s got you covered. And if you like black metal that echoes like lost, forgotten wails of a tortured soul in a gloomy dungeon – this album’s also got you covered.
On the opening tracks, we have an image of dying souls shrieking angrily in their final moments, and then it progresses to images of Uruk-Hai marching on mass to major battles in Tolkien’s legendarium. This isn’t a Tolkien black metal group but it certainly reminded me of the fantasy epics and the expression of the guitars, drums, keys and hefty arrangements awakened the fantasy buff in my soul.
Ancient Wisdom has unleashed an epic glorification of all things death-related, be it war, suffering, evil worship or general melancholia and blended a fine array of audible melancholy to express such glory. We have a fine example of a musician who knows exactly what he is doing and was working well on this release throughout his time away from the studio, so a grand return to the Swedish black metal table to you indeed, Ancient Wisdom.
1. Haec Est Mors Secunda
2. Breaking the Circle of Life
3. Architect of Death – Laudamus Te
4. The Coronation
5. Those Who Do Not Exist
6. And God Saw
7. Towards Your Destruction
Vargher – All Instruments & vocals