Ancara - Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows
DKS Music Oy
This Finnish band has a lot of history going on… it was formed back in the mid-80s under the name of Metal Circus before changing its name to simply MC. Then, in 1992, the band changed its name to Resistance, and finally to Ancarain in 1996. It took them almost a decade to release their debut album in 2006, entitled “The Dawn”. The only original member from the band that was formed back in 1985 is the bassist Mika Rajala. He is the only connecting link between the old and the new band… but honestly, I do not see any real connections here…apart from their having a starting point somewhere in the past. The second album of the band “Beyond the Dark” was released in 2008 by Kotipelto’s label High & Loud and it reached the 9th place on the Finnish album charts on the opening week.
The band was ready to go big and tour all over Europe… in the meantime, they were writing down material for the third album. Samuel Hjelt (guitar, vocals) was replaced by Tuomas “Gary” Keskinen (guitars) before the closing of the new album’s writing sessions. The album was titled “Chasing Shadows” and was released by DKS Music Oy, which is, in reality, the band’s own label, only in Finland in 2009. That was 3 years ago! The guys released two nice videos, one for “Tears With A Smile” (duet with Agnes Pihlava) and the other for “Nicole” for the promotion of the album. What happened after that… only the band knows. ‘Chasing Shadows” is an album that was released in 2009 in Finland and now 3 years later, it will be released worldwide in the 27th of January. I understand that the guys needed a “push in the market” again, ‘cause they have already started recording a totally new album (the recording will take place from the 15th up to the 25th of January) in Los Angeles Hollywood with Jimmy Westerlund as a producer, Tom Diekmaier as a co-producer and Francisco Sanchez as a sound engineer. Now, it’s quite obvious why they’ve chosen to put out “Chasing Shadows” again at this time period… they wanted to warm things up around their name. They are also preparing for a European tour in March 2012.
On the music part of the album, Ancara are playing hard rock music with some gothic rock/metal as well as many melodic metal (80s-90s) elements. They have rockin’ songs with catchy refrains and a powerful attitude in general. They also have numerous influences from US and European rock/metal bands… from Danzing and Iggy Pop up to 69 Eyes, Lordi, HIM and so on. “Chasing Shadows” is a very well-produced album, as it was produced by the famous Finnish producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Lordi, 69 Eyes, Apocalyptica, Sentenced, Sepultura etc.). It also has some songs that can win impressions, especially in a wider rock audience, like: “We Paint December”, “Fall From Grace”, “High Hopes”, “Liar”, “Tears With A Smile”, “Nicole” and “Wait”… for they have a “popish rock” attitude and they are indeed radio friendly.
Listen to the band, for they are motivated and they are chasing the dream... and this kind of melodic pop rock/metal they are playing, is actually good. This album will give them the “push” they need worldwide, but I believe that the expected new album will have a vital meaning for the band’s future.