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Ancara: Beyond The Dark
Melodic Heavy/Power Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Finland is the home of a great many metal acts. With Ancara, their peers should sit up and take notice. This is some very good heavy metal which ventures into the power metal realm. Ancara has roots that date back to 1985, but what we have today took hold in 2003. They released their first full-length project 'The Dawn' in 2006 with above average results. With 'Beyond The Dark,' Ancara has definitely solidified they're style. There is focus and intensity in this album.

Without doubt, when you think of a Finnish metal band, your thoughts go directly to basic power metal. However, Ancara has much more to offer on 'Beyond The Dark.' Definitely melodic, the song show a range of style that includes many elements including traditional heavy metal, melodic hard rock, and power metal. Though expecting some repetition throughout, I was pleasantly surprised by the work's diversity. A significant track is 'Sunflower' that bristles with heaviness, melody and great vocals. 'Scarred' is a number that reminds me more of traditional metal with a dose of power metal as it thunders along. 'Cranium Tension' is an unusual number with interesting vocal arrangements wrapped up in melodic rock context. Finally, there's the intriguing 'In Silence' which is straight forward metal with great guitar licks.

Overall, I was impressed by Ancara's 'Beyond The Dark.' Surely, even with their long history, they come into their own. This work is noteworthy if only because it is unexpected metal from a Finnish band. Not power metal, but a mixture of varied styles. I think Ancara has a bright future if they continue along this path. Very recommended!

In Short

You may not know Finland's 'Ancara,' but you should. 'Beyond The Dark' is more than you would expect from their peers. This is classy metal worth considering: varied style, great vocal arrangements, and some skilled guitar work.

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