• Ankh - Tükörterem (2012)


    Ankh is a band from Tata, Hungary that mixes in a quite versatile way pagan with some melodic death metal influences. This EP is the band’s first release since its foundation six years ago and shows that these guys and girls have a lot of potential and are diversified enough to stand out among the countless Folk Metal bands that have emerged from the European underground during the last decade. The band varies its lyrics varies between Hungarian and English language which gives them a little exotic bonus.

    The title song “Tükörterem” shows already everything this band is all about and stands as an example for the entire release. The song varies from epic and atmospheric parts carried by some symphonic keyboards melodies that are combined with many melodic heavy metal guitar riffs and solos to more brutal parts where the blistering drumming is located somewhere between the thrash and the black metal genre while the vocals fit to the melodic death metal genre. Next to the good but not truly impressive growls, there are also a few female vocals but they sound somewhat thin and can’t convince. The band should even think about taking them off for further releases. A few folk metal passages can also be found in the song as we hear a few flute and violin parts but the band still fails to employ them efficiently and these influences are somehow buried underneath the heavier parts of the track. Nevertheless, there is still a little surprise in this song when campfire acoustic guitars suddenly meet strange guttural vocals that remind me of the Mongolian overtone singing. That’s where the band proves its open-minded musical diversity the most. These Hungarians should definitely focus on more folk related parts like this in the future.

    Most of the other songs also work with calmer and harder passages. “We Are Not Gonna Fall” starts with one of the record’s very best parts by mixing longing campfire acoustic guitars to beautiful flute sounds before the track gets slowly heavier and ultimately becomes an epic viking metal song. The first part of “The Longest Journey” kicks even off as a smooth folk ballad where the musicians really show their skills before the song becomes a gripping pagan metal track. I must admit to my surprise that I prefer the calmer parts to the harder moments and the band should focus a little bit more on the more introspective moments.

    To keep this short, the band shows its high degree of diversity and employs many great and even surprising ideas as they are not stuck into one or two genres only. The problem is that these newcomers are not yet able to catalyze efficiently all these influences. Many cooks spoil the broth and in this case this means that some songs are overloaded. With all these ideas, the band could have composed an entire album instead or they should have written a few longer songs to bring in all these ideas instead of creating too compact songs with a length around four or five minutes only. The band shines in the calmer moments with amazingly played acoustic guitars that play simple melodies that though work very well. The flute and violin players should still improve their skills but have a lot of potential as well. The symphonic keyboard parts are good but sound a little bit too artificially flavoured from time to time but I’m aware that this is due to budgetary reasons. The overtone singing is very intriguing and should be used on a more frequent basis as the growls are only of an average to good quality while the female vocals can’t convince me at all.

    Fans of modern Pagan Metal bands with a couple of extreme metal influences such as Eluveitie, Ensiferum or Equilibrium should definitely check this Hungarian band out. I will try to follow the band activities as they have loads of potential. Maybe this rough diamond will truly shine one day and let’s not forget that this is only a debut EP.

    By the way, the tracks can easily be found on the internet, for example by clicking on the following link: http://soundcloud.com/ankhtata/sets/t-k-rterem-ep


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