Label: Valkyrie Rising
Releasedate: 11 January 2019 (digital) / 22 November 2019 (physical)
There are frontiers meant to be crossed. There are silences made to be broken. That is what ANCESTRAL LEGACY (Norway) and VEIL OF MIST (France) decided to do with that common recording born from a long friendship between Eddie and Jean-Baptiste, their respective masterminds. Both bands play a kind of dark and melodic female-fronted Metal but, in truth, have not much to do with what is known as the « female-fronted scene ». Throughout the past years, after sharing some live dates in 2010 and because of an obvious likemindedness, the idea slowly took form to release a split EP which would be the fruit of a real collaboration, not just two bands putting a couple of unused songs together to earn some extra bucks.
That resulted in more than one hour of music including two new songs written by both bands altogether, with one recorded mainly by Ancestral Legacy and one recorded mainly by Veil of Mist. Each band contributed one brand new song, one re-recording of an old song and one coversong, Ancestral Legacy covering the famous French pop artist Mylène Farmer and Veil of Mist covering the luciferian neo-classical band Elend of Holy Records fame. On the physical version of the EP you can also find and extra track for each band : A classically-orchestrated medley of previously released songs for Ancestral Legacy and an electro remix of an album track for Veil of Mist.
Thus, despite the distance, both bands have intertwined their styles and personalities to build a real musical bridge between France and Norway, far from the mainstream, and made their -chaotic- paths meet for a dark yet soulful walk.
The first track ‘Leader of Nothing’ starts of strong and is right there in your ears. Massive growls backed up by guitar, bass and drums against a melodic tune is soothing on the ear, then Isadora’s beautiful voice comes in and draws you into their dreamlike melodic female-fronted metal. ‘Annelid’ sounds very classical with the keyboards taking front stage before the guitars, bass and drums kick in – for me VERY reminiscent to Dutch band The Gathering. Very dreamy and haunting track but also quite meditative. Whilst the growls wake you up from your slumber, you still feel you are in their 8+ minute guided dream.
Track three ‘Precision of Soul’ again is very tranquil for teh first minute-and-a-half before the rest of the band kick in. Well composed song and all elements of the band are well utilised and work perfectly together. For my liking the vocals could be a bit louder and the instruments a bit quieter, this would have created an even better composition. The intro of ‘The Silent Season’ is like the first track powerful, strong and growls. The fast pace of this track grabs your attention and wakes you from your meditative state of mind after the first 3 songs. Gratuitous guitar solos to play along to on your air guitar makes it a very pleasurable track to listen to and again I can hear the influences from The Gathering.
‘Orchestral Medley’ is just what it says and being a huge fan of female fronted metal, I appreciate this track and I can hear the influences of other greats in this genre such as Nightwish, Leaves’ Eyes, Within Temptation, etc. Very upbeat and likeable track which would not go amiss on a soundtrack to a movie.
The next track ‘Diabolique mon Ange’ is a cover of Mylene Farmer’s 2010 song from her album ‘Bleu Noir’. To be able to voice an opinion on this track I had to listen to the original, beautiful song, all in french. Ancestral Legacy’s rendition of this song is absolutely exquisite! Where the original is soft and tranquil, this cover received the ‘metal treatment’ and they have made an excellent track even better!
Track 7 ‘The Flute and The Blade (The Archangel of Terror Pt.1)’ is a fast metal track, with Amandine’s soft voice. To my liking at the beginning she is singing a bit too low for her voice range and she sounds out of tune at times. Nevertheless when the song picks up pace, the true strength of her vocals take center stage. Very strong composition where all elements, vocal, guitars, drums, etc are perfectly in tune with eachother.
‘Tomorrow’ introduces us to a guest singer; Michelle Darkness (real name Michael Huber) from German gothic/doom metal band End of Green. The combination of Amandine’s and Michelle’s voices works very well, it creates a sense of being flowing from the lyrical composition, which reminds me of the early works of Swedish industrial band Deathstars.
Track 9 really surprised me, it is a remix, but ‘Ghosts of Winter (Bossfight RMX)’ is definitely a song not just metalfans will appreciate. It feels a more like techno/trance mix than female-fronted metal, nevertheless it makes a change from the usual compositions in this genre. The track has Kraftwerk, Enigma and 90s House influences, especially in the middle and end part of this 7+ minute track. Judge for yourself though, but it is a winner for me.
The last track on this album is called ‘A Staggering Moon’, the intro is one which makes you curious of where the song goes as it plays along. Once the vocals kick in you know that you are being haunted and lured by Amandine’s voice. She calls you, and you cannot do anything but follow and listen to this well arranged song. Slow and tranquil but yet with strong metal influences which take the overtone half-way the song. The remainder of the song is very dreamy and basically a very long outtro.
Having listened to this album several times I have to admit I really like it, the variety of compositions and the cooperation between the two bands works effortlessly. I say, let fuse them into one, and have more of this grandiose music!
The current line-up of Ancestral Legacy saw its beginning in the Autumn of 2002. After the band Permafrost metamorphosed into the symphonic extreme metal band Ancestral Legacy in the late 90ies, the band faced big changes when 2/3 of the core members left the in Spring 2002 and the current band members have made up Ancestral Legacy since.
Isadora Cortina – Vocals and keyboards
Eddie Risdal – Guitars and vocals
Jon Rune Førland – Guitars and vocals
Christopher Midtsveen Vigre – Drums
Veil of Mist
Veil of Mist was founded in October 2004 in Reims (France) by Frédéric Carcelle and Jean-Baptiste Frichet.
Amandine Rosselle – Vocals
Frédéric Carcelle – Guitars
Jean-Baptiste Frichet – Bass & Programming
Gautier Tremlet – Drums
Leader of Nothing – Ancestral Legacy ft. Veil of Mist
Annelid – Veil of Mist ft. Ancestral Legacy
Precision of Soul – Ancestral Legacy
The Silent Season -Ancestral Legacy
Orchestral Medley – Ancestral Legacy
Diabolique Mon Ange -Ancestral Legacy
The Flute and The Blade (The Archangel of Terror Pt.1) – Veil of Mist
Tomorrow – Veil of Mist ft. Michelle Darkness (End of Green)
Ghosts of Winter (Bossfight RMX) – Veil of Mist
A Staggering Moon – Veil of Mist
Veil of Mist