ANCIENT OAK
Fight the Beast (2014) By xDemoNx

Constantly every year Ancient Oak release a new album. So almost a year since the release of Huldufólk, this one man band from Russia, returns in November of 2014 with its new full length album which is called "Fight the Beast". The album contains five instrumental compositions of overall duration of twenty nine minutes. Musically, the band continues in the same style that it had presented to us in the previous album. This means that here too, the listener will come across atmospheric compositions, which put out intensive, melancholic feelings and warm atmosphere, nothing to justify the title.

Those of you who read the review for their previous album or you listened to it, you will be wondering if there is anything different from the previous one. The answer is not much. Let me begin by mentioning the new elements that I found inside Fight the Beast. First of all what caught my attention were the quite interesting epic moments. The second new element is the increase of the darker parts, ether with some very few, fast passages, ether with the dark atmosphere which is created in various parts. The rest of the elements of the album are moving into the style that the band have already presented to us into their previous releases. That is that the riffs mainly are of medium speed and atmospheric, quite melancholic and they create a warm atmosphere. In this album there is an obvious improvement regarding the structure of the tracks. Although that there are no vocals in here too and the duration of the tracks is long, the band has worked a lot on the structure of the compositions, trying a lot of changes during the evolution of the tracks both to the riffs and to the rhythm but also to the atmosphere and the feeling. Those changes happen other times in a smooth way, other times abruptly, while they don't achieve their purpose always.

The instruments are played into a satisfying level with the guitar to be the one to rule into the compositions. The guitars have a clean sound, they are played with passion and expressiveness, whereas on the other hand there are parts which show some instability. The bass is too low so that it is almost inaudible. The drums have passion and at the same time accuracy in their style of playing, their lines are quite simple but executed well. The production is clean and bass, it puts out a heavy, thick and warm sound. The mixture is relatively balanced, although that the bass can barely be heard, the compositions don't lack of depth and stability.

Ancient Oak with "Fight the Beast" make steps forward. Maybe these steps are very small but they are here and they show that the band has its own procedures of maturation and evolution. Surely the new album will absolutely satisfy their fans. But those of you who didn't give them any of your attention to the previous releases and you are looking for something from the melancholic, melodic Metal sound, maybe the time has come to check them out.

1. Raven's Flight 04:19
2. Fight the Beast 06:49
3. Two Corpses 04:51
4. Remains & Regrets 05:43
5. One Corpse 07:38