Epic symphonic power metal group Ancient Bard's third album A New Dawn Ending brings to a close the first part of the Black Crystal Sword Saga written by keyboardist and composer Daniele Mazza. A tale which commenced with their 2010 debut The Alliance of the Kings and followed on 2011's Soulless Child two impressive albums that were very positively received and they haven't faltered with their newest release. Ancient Bards are not alone in their chosen field of metal but they do rank as one of the front runners carving their own path.
This Italian group formed in 2007 and if you haven't experienced those prior releases then maybe you have heard their female vocalist. As in 2013 Sara Squadrani appeared on the Ayreon album The Theory Of Everything which says so much about her highly appealing vocals. Dark Moor showed us years ago on some of their best releases how female vocals are so suited to this sub genre, and it's great to see a quality band like Ancient Bards doing the same. Besides the vocals the musicianship of Ancient Bards is also top notch. Like the technical fluency in the obligatory guitar solos and the keyboards are very endearing like that melody on "Flaming Heart" that sounds divine coupled with their guitar and rhythm section.
To the storyline of A New Dawn Ending and "Ancient mysteries, entangled schemes, come in succession together with strange revelations, during the long and intense battle this chapter is about, a battle that takes place both inside and outside the characters".
It's that addictive music like on the particiulaury pleasing "Flaming Heart" that Ancient Bards continue to present us with that ensures many repeat listens. With kick drums at a brisk pace and a potent guitar sound Ancient Bard's are soaring on "Across This Life". There is a guest appearance by vocalist Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Angra) on "The Last Resort" as he and Sara's vocals complement each other so well on this track. The songs of Ancient Bards are certainly not predictable nor what I would call straightforward and there is quite a mixture of tempo, the exhilarating "In The End" is such a song. "Hope Dies Last" was the epic off the previous Ancient Bard's album Souless Child and is such a wonderful track and A New Dawn Ending has two more lengthy numbers with "Showdown" and the dramatic finale "A New Dawn Ending" is one with the lot.
A New Dawn Ending is another rewarding recording from the masterful Ancient Bards, and the most engaging album of its epic kind in recent memory.
1. Before the Storm
2. A Greater Purpose
3. Flaming Heart
4. Across This Life
5. In My Arms
6. The Last Resort
8. In the End
9. Spiriti Liberi
10. A New Dawn Ending