Chasing Shadows is Ancara's third studio album, and my second experience with this Finnish band. It's been an interesting and good listening experience. It appears the latent melodic heavy/power metal of their previous album, Beyond the Dark (2008) has been largely dismissed. The inspiration and the substance of their music on Chasing Shadows leans more to Eighties melodic hard rock, often on the AOR side.
Ancara's strength are self-evident. Good song composition with strong melodies, vocal harmonies, and clever hooks are strengthened by skillful musicianship. Mostly the arrangements are creative, a fresh intepretation upon the classic melodic hard rock theme without sacrificing familiarity. You hear this at the start with We Paint December, which offers a bit metal edge with a strong harmonious vocal arrangement. You can hear the grit of hard rock in the chords of Lodestar, only to be tempered by the melodic hook of the chorus. Then there's simply classic melodic hard rock, perhaps a tad heavier sometimes, but still familiar, in Far From Grace, High Hopes, Chasing Shadows, and the finisher Farewell. That last song is pure arena-ready rock. Ultimately, there's a strong diversity to the songs, each one stands with its own integrity, a characteristic that can be quite fleeting.
Ancara's Chasing Shadows offers a fresh and entertaining interpretation of Eighties melodic hard rock, with strong and varied songs. Easily recommended.