Album Review: Volcandra – The Way of Ancients (Prosthetic Records)

Louisville, Kentucky based high fantasy inspired metal quintet, Volcandra are poised to leave an enduring mark on 2024 with their sophomore full-length, The Way of Ancients. Out on March 1st, 2024, via Prosthetic Records.

Photo Credit: Patrick Ballard

Fantastical tales told through the medium of blackened melodeath, Volcandra’s The Way of Ancients is one hell of a fresh-sounding offering. For all its story-telling qualities, it is an emphatic metal album, and a lot of the time, hits hard enough to rival the more extreme side of this sound. If you’re not madly in love with this album once Birth of the Nephalem and Fouled Sanctity have opened up the mind to the exciting world of Volcandra, you might need to check your hearing.

Both tracks showcase the glorious epic highs and the emphatic intensity that exists in every part of this album. Melodeath fan? You’re going to really get along with this record, just don’t be surprised when you also pick up elements from black and thrash metal too.

Their impressive combination of massive melodies, crude speed, and enthusiastic heaviness is what draws the listener in, and once on this mythical path with them, few will want to leave. Even when the blackness descends in such a violent way, as it does on Nemesis Confession. Volcandra making this kind of music sound so effortless, while also adding a level of atmosphere that enhances the darkness.

The intricate detail within their instrumentation is massively appealing as the album goes on, and there’s a certain amount of joy to be found in picking apart tracks like Maiden of Anguish. Even though there’s nothing wrong with just enjoying the wave of crushing noise. The ringing post-like guitar sounds in this track are unforgettable.

After an initial period of calming melody, Seven Tombs has Volcandra saying ‘f**k it’ and hitting the speed up button for a straight-forward blast of death-infused metal. With the added bonus of a punchy and shouty chorus. How about more of the blackened intensity with the melodeath twist? Volcandra have you covered with The Blackened Temple. A track that will be remembered for its epic guitar solo more than anything else.

Not overdoing it in the slightest, The Way of Ancients is wrapped up speedily. Or maybe that’s just because it is so enjoyable, the time flies by and its length feels immaterial. Either way, it goes out with a bang as Not Even Death takes Volcandra’s sound into the darkest of black metal hellscapes. Before the title track goes to an even grander, more melody-laced, egregiously heavy, and unbelievably lovable place. It’s one piece of the entire work that makes this album such a thrilling listen, but as pieces go, it is a big one.

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Volcandra – The Way of Ancients Track Listing:

1. Birth of the Nephalem
2. Fouled Sanctity
3. Nemesis Confession
4. Maiden of Anguish
5. Seven Tombs
6. The Blackened Temple
7. Not Even Death
8. The Way of Ancients




Links

Bandcamp | Spotify | Facebook | Instagram

Author

  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Volcandra - The Way of Ancients (Prosthetic Records)
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