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Flying Above Ancient Ruins

Slovakia Country of Origin: Slovakia

Flying Above Ancient Ruins
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: April 29th, 2017
Label: Independent
Genre: Atmospheric, Black
1. Flying Above Ancient Ruins
2. Hunger Of Her Eyes
3. Count Von Krolock
4. The Wanderer Ascends (Father Of Sorrows And Past)
5. At The End Of A New Age
6. Count Von Krolock (Rehearsal 2014)


Review by Felix on May 31, 2022.

This year Flying Above Ancient Ruins celebrates its fifth anniversary. Happy birthday, my gift is this review. Before you unwrap the gift, you first see the packaging. Well, the artwork is so-so, but stylish booklet makes up for it. No stupid pictures, no violence-glorifying photos or any other bullshit. Instead, we see atmospheric, nightly pictures (Caspar David Friedrich) and they indicate the musical content very well.

Krolok’s sound has a lot of dark aura. The band offers anthems about citadels, wooden thrones, the full moon, and an “icy fortress near the firmament”. A certain medieval touch cannot be denied, even if no Jew's harps or bagpipes are used. Nevertheless, the quote is somewhat misleading, because Flying Above Ancient Ruins sound rather warm than icy. The guitars and the keyboards embrace the listener softly but irresistibly at the same time. Above all, they determine the sound, although the croaky voice must be mentioned in this context as well. But the album holds many instrumental parts and therefore I would not say that the voice is on an equal footing with the dominating instruments. What I miss is a powerful, assertive drum sound, but maybe we cannot have it all.

Another little weakness of the album is the length of the single tracks. Every now and then, I wish they had shortened the songs a little bit. Yet I admit that this is no big problem, because at the end of the day, the tracks leave a coherent impression and do not lack substance. It does not matter whether you pick out the pretty aggressively forward storming 'At The End Of A New Age' (a very good song, by the way) or one of the more atmospheric pieces. Krolok deliver reliably – as long as we talk about the first five tracks. The rehearsal of 'Count Von Krolock' suffers from uncompetitive production and is incidentally superfluous, since the song is also included in regular form. However, 35 minutes of strong material remain.

Krolok are able to write pretty individual melodies and they do not shy away from surprising twists and turns. When it comes to other bands, sometimes these unexpected breaks hurt the flow of a song but Krolok are immune against this kind of danger. The single parts of the tracks blend seamlessly with each other, at least in most cases. So I see no reason to warn about this debut. Get in touch with the album, enjoy the stage-setting keyboard / timpani intro and heavy, slightly odd pieces like the opening title track or 'Hunger Of Her Eyes'. Too bad that I cannot completely ignore the useless rehersal track – otherwise a rating of 8 + would be the correct one from my side. Anyway, let’s celebrate – Flying Above Ancient Ruins was a promising start, Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky marked the next milestone and I hope the third full-length will be published in 2023 at the latest.

Rating: 7.9 out of 10

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