Will of the Ancients
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Will of the Ancients

| INDIE

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Production - 4/6
Songwriting - 4.5/6
Musicianmanship - 5/6

Following hot on the heels of me reviewing some damn impressive and highly enjoyable independent/obscure albums courtesy of Spiritual Dissection, Clad In Darkness, and Wolven Ancestry I’m proud to bring you another installment in bands who deserve more respect and exposure: Toronto based band Will of the Ancients.

WotA is composed of four previous Ockham’s Razor members (Jordy Steinberg, Tristan Biggar, Tom Gendron and Steve Walton), recently departed ex-Blood of Christ drummer Jason Longo, and finally keyboardist Colin Attlsey (ex-Visions of the Night). However, I mention this not to simply read the liner notes or to just regurgitate the band's dictated biography to you; I absolutely hate sounding like a living advertisement. I mention their past musical involvement in order to stress that Will of the Ancients is by no means a band of novice musicians. Their caliber of musicianship and quality of songwriting displays an excellent level of proficiency.

They play a style of black metal that while not conventionally symphonic, encompasses the keyboard reliance of bands like Stormlord and Old Mans Child with a poignant emotional flourish of razor sharp riffs and grandiose melodic lead lines. Guitarists Tristan and Tom lay down riff after riff of solid and superb melodic black metal backed by the solid melodic support of the bass lines while vocalist Jordy’s frightening, flesh-ripping scream builds an unbearable tension countered perfectly by Steve’s back up vocals. While they might have a fairly common foundational style, black metal tinged with more melodic flourishes, this is by no means the only variation. Will of the Ancients seamlessly encompasses territory not too dissimilar from bands such as Thyrfing or Windir within their sound. Surprisingly, the song structure is not always the conventional black metal structure, with many influences creeping in that are more founded in death metal. Similarly the overall delivery itself is more riff oriented and direct than the majority of the genre, while they may utilize traditional harmonic progressions that might sound slightly one dimensional, the gravity and depth of the delivery all but makes up for the slight lack of originality.

The wrathful vehemence displayed on “Battle for the Sky” and “Epistemological Conundrum” plays perfectly against the rollicking opening and ominous melodic mid section of the phenomenal “Between Stagnation and Infamy”. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get “Curse of Thrones”, where the album reaches a grandiose pinnacle of fluidity and intensity before the solemn folk tinged “Bard’s Tale” and into epic closer “The Artifact”. WotA is constantly countering their scathing black metal with the softer elements ala keyboards and clean vocals. The songs constantly build and flow through stylistic changes adding a great level of intricacy as well as the excellent dynamic tension between sections.

Will of the Ancients is the first release from Northern Storm Records and one hell of a step in the right direction. This is another prime example of superb Canadian extreme metal, placing Will of the Ancients on my up and coming list of bands to take note of. While not a revolution within themselves, they offer an extremely solid blend of black metal that will undoubtedly grow into a juggernaut of excellence given the time to perfect their art.

- Metalreview.com


As expected from where the band was creatively on their first demo Cold Grim Times a few years back Will of the Ancients return to the music scene with much more experienced sound and style. Rex Lupis takes over vocals duties for their self-titled full-length (on Northern Storm Records) and it’s his approach that helps distance the album apart from past material. His manic cries of aggression are alarming, perfectly paired against the rapid fire riffs that surface here. The band is still big on playing a black metal that is pasted together with plenty of keyboard, sinister emotions and slight sharp-edged metal attack.
There seems to be a bit more variety as well, and as Martha Stewart always chimes in, ‘And that’s a good thing.’ The addition of drummer Sayduke (ex-Blood Of Christ) is great for the band as well, as the stickman is a monster behind the kit. You should see him live!
WOTA’s production sounds a bit forced in spots, transforming some of the rawer moments to sound very clinical when they should be alarmingly unstable. But that’s my only gripe. Without quality work on the mixingand knob-twirling WOTA’s sound could have been jeopardized and or not able to shape itself as it has. Choice cuts: scorching opener “Battle for the Sky,” “Epistemological Conundrum” and “The Curse of Thrones.

7.5/10 - Adrian Bromley - Unrestrained


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Will of the Ancients from Toronto, Canada, formed in the winter of 2002. The band has endured many seasons and some line up changes and right now, 2010 sees the metal band in their strongest form ever.

From the release of their 2003 debut EP entitled “Cold Grim Times”, Will of the Ancients solidified their reputation as one of the premier metal bands in the Ontario metal scene, delivering energetic performances and honed songwriting.

A self-titled debut full-length record followed in 2006, featuring distinctive, relentless and fiercely epic songs, furthering Will of the Ancients’ notoriety in the Toronto metal underground.

This notoriety has since spread, building a loyal following across North America. Their reputation has been further strengthened playing alongside bands such as Behemoth, Finntroll, Orphaned Land, Augury, Neuraxis, Vreid, Bal Sagoth, Quo Vadis and Wolven Ancestry.

In 2008, Will of the Ancients’ current line up came together, with long-standing original members, Stephen Walton (Vocals), Tristan Biggar (Guitar) and Colin Attlesey (Keyboards) joining forces with Ryan Sequeira (Guitar), Jeff Kurkowski (Bass) and Dave Black (Drums) – and the band soon set to work on bold new material.

Energized and eager to take on the world in 2010, Will of the Ancients are set to release their new full-length album “To Our Glorious Dead”.

The band is also celebrating signing with top US Management and Artist Development Company, The Inner Light Agency. Damon Moreno, of iLA says “Will of the Ancients is an epic metal band. They’re relentless and solid and they live and breathe metal. I am stoked to welcome them to the iLA fold.”