Ancestral Dawn - Souldance

Ancestral Dawn Souldance cover
Ancestral Dawn
FC Metal
Ancestral Dawn is a metal project that was formed in 2013 by bassist & author Jorge Higginson (ex-Nautiluz). Jorge brought the famed Nautiluz vocalist Jorge Segersbol and the manager Mark Astorga along. Later, the band was joined by the guitarist Josue Castro, keyboardist Bryan Bello and drummer Devadip Chunga. Judging by the members’ names, one can say that this project is not coming from Europe or the US… and that’s exactly right. Even if it may surprise most of the metal fans out there, Ancestral Dawn is based in Peru!
Leaving aside the orientation thing and dealing with the music, I must say that Jorge (bassist) has managed to present something truly imposing and ambitious in all parts. “Souldance” is a metal opera in the way that Avantasia have done in the past. A really inspired metal opera, which deals with a fictional city known as “The Grey City” and is always covered by a strange deep haze. This is where the whole story takes place and all the characters interact with each other. Apart from the interesting lyrical concept, Jorge has gathered a bunch of famed musicians to participate in the album. Hence we have: Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Angra) on “The Traveller” & “Leading to Nowhere”, Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) on “Stormhaze”, Rick Altzi (Masterplan, At Vance) on “Enter the Shaman”, “Rise of the Ancestor” & “The Eyes of the Universe”, Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Hellowen) on “Souldance (Ayarachis)”, Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen) on “Souldance (Ayarachis)” & “The Eyes of the Universe”, Jonas Heidgert (Dragonland, Destino) on “Rise of the Ancestor” & “The Eyes of the Universe”, Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Kiske Somerville) on “Whispers in the Grey” & “The Eyes of the Universe”, and Nathalie Markoch on “Leading to Nowhere”. Quite an impressive line-up, don’t you think?!
Musically, the album follows the European power metal music path with the apt doses of symphonic metal and with a few prog metal touches. The melodies are wonderful, the musicianship is exceptional and the songwriting is great. The production is remarkably powerful, lush and heavy. The album was produced, mixed and mastered by Adolfo Gazzo (Nautiluz, Aevum).
In truth to be told, if “Souldance” was released by a European/US band or a composer, then all the “big paid” media would praise it. Also, it would get way more publicity for sure. Now, the album may not get that much publicity, but that doesn’t affect its musical value at all. All the power metal fans and mainly those who are fond of metal operas will be astonished by the music eminence and quality of “Souldance”. Keeping in mind that this is the debut music work by Ancestral Dawn, I’m totally looking forward to the band’s next releases. Till then, better sink your teeth into it, especially if you fancy symphonic power metal music…