The Halls of Eternity (Metal Blade)
Enslain Magazine Issue #7
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In a genre that has become increasingly difficult to establish an unmistakable identity, Ancient have released yet another album displaying their continued ability to do so. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes them original... they aren't as death-like as many of the other black metal bands, and the songs are simpler. Whatever the case, "The Halls of Eternity" isn't highly different from their previous efforts, except that it is considerably heavier, and the musicianship seems to have improved. The inclusion of really tasteless interludes is still present here, but it is made up for by such creative and enjoyable songs as "Born in Flames" or "The Battle of the Ancient Warriors." It seems to be a matter of taste, so if you enjoy your black metal conforming to a certain sound, then this won't wet your appetite. -- Lady Enslain