"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Ancient

Formed: 1992
From: Bergen, Norway
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Ancient News

Below is our complete Ancient news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Ancient Declares Even "Death Will Die"

Norwegian extreme metal titans Anciient will release the long awaited 7th studio album “Back To The Land Of The Dead” on September 16th in North America via (Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s) EMP Underground/EMP Label Group, and in the rest of the World by Soulseller Records.

To give another taste of the new album, today the band unleashed the new track "Death Will Die," which you can check out in the player below.

The track list for the album is:

1. Land of The Dead (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Dhilorz and Zel) (streaming here)
2. Beyond The Blood Moon (Music and lyrics by Zel)
3. The Sempiternal Haze (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
4. The Empyrean Sword (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
5. The Ancient Disarray (Music and lyrics by Zel)
6. Occlude The Gates (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)

The Excruciating Journey

7. Part I Defiance and rage (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
8. Part II The Prodigal Years (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
9. Part III The Awakening (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
10. Death Will Die (Music and lyrics by Zel)
11. The Spiral (Music and lyrics by Zel)
12. Petrified By Their End (Music by Dhilorz and Zel, lyrics by Zel)
Bonus track :
13. 13 Candles (Music and lyrics by Quorthon)

Stream "Death Will Die" here: More...

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Headline News

Ancient Sets New Album Release Date

After many, many delays, Norway's Ancient has (finally) set the release date for long-awaited 7th studio album, "Back To The Land Of The Dead," which is the follow up to 2004’s "Night Visit."

The album will be released September 16th in North America via EMP Underground (the label run by David Ellefson) and in the rest of the World by Soulseller Records.

The album is currently available for pre-order (in North America only) in various configurations at this location. You can also check out the opening track below, while the full track listing is:

1. Land of The Dead (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Dhilorz and Zel)
2. Beyond The Blood Moon (Music and lyrics by Zel)
3. The Sempiternal Haze (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
4. The Empyrean Sword (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
5. The Ancient Disarray (Music and lyrics by Zel)
6. Occlude The Gates (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)

The Excruciating Journey

7. Part I Defiance and rage (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
8. Part II The Prodigal Years (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
9. Part III The Awakening (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
10. Death Will Die (Music and lyrics by Zel)
11. The Spiral (Music and lyrics by Zel)
12. Petrified By Their End (Music by Dhilorz and Zel, lyrics by Zel)
Bonus track :
13. 13 Candles (Music and lyrics by Quorthon) More...

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Ancient Signs With Soulseller / EMP

After insufferable months of delays, there's movement on the new Ancient album! If you mised it, the band's history was recently covered in our Sunday Old School column here.

Ancient today announces a signing with Soulseller Record for a worldwide contract while Dave Ellefson's EMP Label Group will release new album "Back To The Land Of The Dead" in the USA/ Canada.

Ancient frontman Zel states: "We're very excited to finally be able to announce the release of the album 'Back To The Land Of The Dead.' We're as tired as everyone to wait, but this one will most definitely be worth it! Prepare for 66 minutes of chaos, sonic aggression and dark ancient atmospheres!" More...

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Ancient Taps Jonathan Garofoli For Festival

Ancient will blast the main stage of Under The Black Sun Festival in Börnicke (Germany) on Saturday July 2nd.

Due to touring commitments with Brujeria, the band's drummer, Nick Barker, is forced to step out from the festival. Ancient has announced that he will be replaced by drummer Jonathan Garofoli, known from his performances with Melechesh, Naer Mataron, and many others.

Ancient frontman Zel comments: "We are very lucky to have found Jonathan to play with us, not many can dare to try filling in the shoes of Nick Barker, but this guy kick some serious ass!"

Jonathan's Comment on collaboration: "Sometimes life is sweetly tricky, one day you're listening to an album of a band you like and after years you're playing with that band! Should sound kinda crazy but it's not, actually is what happened to me right now since I got the proposal from Ancient to get the role to step behind the kit to play at Under The Black Sun Festival 2016! To me its a true honor to have been recruited by such a respectful and historical ensemble like Ancient, I'm pretty sure our collaboration will create and establish some real musical magic!!!"

The long and storied history of Ancient was recently covered in our Sunday Old School column here, and a new album titled "Back To The Land Of The Dead" has been repeatedly delayed over the last year. Stay tuned for more info on the release.

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Column

Sunday Old School: Ancient

Hey, what's this... I'm not Diamond Oz! Sorry folks, he's out this week, so I'm here to take over Sunday Old School. Today we're headed back in time all the way to the early '90s and mythical Norway, birthplace of second wave black metal and much diabolical full moon mysticism.

During that hallowed time in metallic history would emerge a black metal group called Ancient, which over the years mixed a lot of melody into the BM sound, utilizing memorable atmospheric interlude tracks and a gothic, vampiric vibe.

That would all arrive a good deal later though, as Ancient's beginnings are more rooted in the classic, raw black metal that would become so well known among the giant names like Emperor, Immortal, Mayhem, Burzum, and so on.

Beginning with just band founder Apahzel and vocalist Grimm, the first full-length Ancient release was “Svartalvheim,” which has everything you could want from a '94 black metal metal album, complete with breathing fire in a Norwegian forest!

Much like with the more well known Cradle Of Filth, there is a small but vocal subsection of the fan-base who feels this earliest, more kvlt release (along with the subsequent “Trolltaar” EP) is really the only era of the band worth hearing. Whether you agree with that assessment or not, “Svartalvheim” is easily a classic old school black metal opus, including the fuzzy production and frozen and gloomy atmosphere. If early '90s Norwegian BM is your thing, this is a forgotten classic worth checking out.

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Ancient Announces First Show Of 2016

The Norwegian extreme metal titans from Ancient just announced the opening show of an impending 2016 tour, taking place on February 13th at Cafè Liber in Turin, Italy.

Show details are available at Facebook here. After this opening show, the next chance to see Ancient on stage will be on February 20th at Blastfest in Bergen, Norway. Front Man Zel comments:

"It is with great pleasure and riveting pressure to make our comeback on stage, in Torino, Italy. Almost exactly 19 years after we first played in Torino, the first time Ancient came to Italy, and also the first time I put my feet on this delicious and marvelous country, so yes we have special feelings from Torino. It was also the first time Dhilorz saw Ancient live, and only 2 years later he found himself as a band member. We look forward to unleash the Ancient spirit and show Torino a performance unlike anything seen by Ancient before!"

Ancient is set to release upcoming new album “Back To The Land Of The Dead” in March of 2016. More...

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Ancient To Play Under The Black Sun Fest

In addition to playing Blastfest 2016 reactivated metal unit Ancient is now confirmed for the Under The Black Sun Festival, set to take place on June 30 - July 2, 2016.

Ancient comments: "We're very much looking forward to come to Under The Black Sun festival and unleash the Ancient spirit, we will include some old songs in the set that we have never performed live previously, so this should be a special night indeed!"

More info on the festival is available at this location. Ancient is set to release new album “Back To The Land Of The Dead” in February 2016.

This incarnation of the band features Zel (aka Aphazel) on vocals/guitars/keyboards, Dhilorz on guitars/bass and Nick Barker on drums, and just recently the band announced Ghiulz Borroni of Bulldozer to be the band’s live session guitarist. More...

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Blastfest 2016 Finalizes Lineup

It's been months in the making, but the schedule for Blastfest 2016 is complete. Now in its third year, the Bergen festival has not only put together yet another incredible lineup, but also one in which will be a one-time-only celebration of the Norwegian scene.

A 100% Norwegian lineup, which includes the likes of Abbath, Arcturus, Taake, 1349, Gorgoroth and even some rare appearances from the likes of Green Carnation. Blastfest 2016 will be a truly memorable occasion, with chief and owner Yngve Christiansen comments:

"2016 will be a very special festival edition with a lineup consisting solely of Norwegian bands. The bands represented at Blastfest are the legends, those from the beginning, the ones who made it evolve... the ones who disappeared... the ones who never stopped... the ones whom you should have heard more about... and the ones you will hear about. We have done our best to make a strong lineup representing Norway in the best possible way." More...

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Ancient Finishes New Album

The Norwegian black metal titans from Ancient - who recently signed a global deal with Alpha Omega Management - are set to release their new album “Back To The Land Of The Dead” in February of 2016.

Ancient features Zel (aka Aphazel) on vocals/guitars/keyboards, Dhilorz on guitars/bass and Nick Barker ondDrums, and just recently the band announced Ghiulz Borroni, esteemed shredder from Bulldozer, to be the band's live session guitarist.

Frontman Zel comments: "Finally, the album is ready!! The new album of Ancient, 'Back To The Land Of The Dead,' was mastered today by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios in Finland. So, the album is 100% ready now. We will launch news about release date, label, teaser, new video, tour dates etc etc. in about 2 weeks from now."

Mika Jussila, from Finnvox Studios adds: “Fucking hell it’s going to be an awesome album! What a Blast! I love this. Have now listened thru all the tracks."

On the album front cover Zel comments: "The cover shows a hooded figure standing in a passage. He has been away a long time, and is now returning from his journey. The place is crowded with people that are now some kind of 'spiritual zombies,' he has come back to the place he was born, to 'wake them up,' and he thinks of this place as the 'land of the (spiritual) dead.' This is actually what we are doing, in a way." More...

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Ancient Recruits New Live Guitarist

The Norwegian black metal titans Ancient just revealed that Ghiulz Borroni, esteemed shredder from Bulldozer, has been recruit as the band's new live session guitarist.

Ghoulz Borroni's previous collaborations include Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, Testament etc.) Darius "Daray" Browzski (Dimmu Borgir), Mantas (Venom, Mpire of Evil, Venom Inc.), and Dave Lombardo (Slayer).

Comments Ancient frontman, Zel: "We are really excited to have the great guitarrist Ghiulz inside the Ancient camp now. He will be with us for the live performances from now on. This guy is one of the most excellent guitarists, well known in the scene here, and he is also an old friend of us since more than 20 years now, a real fiery shredder!"

Ghiulz commented: "I am honored to work with Ancient. I have great respect and high value for the work of the band and its history. We know each other for many years and I am happy and honored that we have the opportunity to nail the stage together.

"I am very flattered by the consideration Zel expressed in my regards and I have a lot of respect for him and for all the members of the band. It will be a wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to start. Do my job surrounded by people that I appreciate professionally and personally: I could not ask more! To Ancient fans: I will give all my efforts to hit you with all fury and darkness I’m able to." More...

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Ancient Reveals New Album Track Listing

After originally pushing back a new album in May, and then again in June, and then further delays again in late August, it would appear the Ancient comeback release is finally slated to arrive!

The black metal titans from Ancient - Zel (aka Aphazel) on vocals/guitars/keyboards, Dhilorz on guitars and bass, and Nick Barker on drums - have unveiled the track listing for their upcoming album “Back To The Land Of The Dead,” set to be released in late December 2015 / early January 2016.

1. Born In The Land Of The Dead (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Dhilorz and Zel)
2. Beyond The Blood Moon (Music and lyrics by Zel)
3. The Sempiternal Haze (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
4. The Empyrean Sword (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
5. The Ancient Disarray (Music and lyrics by Zel)
6. Occlude The Gates (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)

The Excruciating Journey
7. Part I Defiance and rage (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
8. Part II The Prodigal Years (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
9. Part III The Awakening (Music by Dhilorz, lyrics by Zel)
10. Death Will Die (Music and lyrics by Zel)
11. The Spiral (Music and lyrics by Zel)
12. Petrified By Their End (Music by Dhilorz and Zel, lyrics by Zel)

Bonus track:
13. 13 Candles (Music and lyrics by Quorthon) More...

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Ancient Album Delayed Again

All you Ancient fanatics eagerly awaiting the arrival of comeback album "Back To The Land Of The Dead" are unfortunately going to have to wait a bit longer still. The group comments:

"So, another unexpected incident took place yesterday, which will further delay the release of the new album 'Back To The Land Of The Dead.' The band was supposed to do the final mixing of the album on August 29 and 30 at the Elfo studios, in Piacenza, Italy.

"However, we were told this morning that the mother of Daniele Mandelli, the sound engineer, passed away yesterday (rip) and so we will naturally have to delay the mixing again. This is the third person (within our families) who has died during the album production.

"The album title 'Back To The Land Of The Dead' refers to a kind of 'death' which is not our physical one, although the title surely starts to have a somewhat double meaning now.

"We do hope the album will be out in late December or January. More news regarding tracklist, a new teaser etc. will be posted in the next weeks." More...

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Ancient Issues Album Update

At the end of May, reactivated black metal outfit Ancient announced the band's comeback album was being delayed. Today the group issues the following update about the situation:

"We are sorry to inform you guys, but the production of the new Ancient album 'Back To The Land Of The Dead' is being delayed further, if everything goes as planned, the album will have the final mix done at the Elfo studios in Italy in August.

"Ancient has still not signed with a new label, but this will be happening soon. A new track will be uploaded around end of August. More info. will follow later this week!"

This upcoming release will be Ancient's first new studio album in 11 years since the release of 2004's "Night Visit." More...

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Blastfest Adds More Norwegian Bands

Norway's Blastfest made a special announcement a few months back that it will be celebrating its national metal scene by boasting a 100% Norwegian lineup featuring such as Abbath, Green Carnation, Ihsahn, Ancient and Gorgoroth.

The festival has now announced another wave of bands that will be appearing in February 2016, including Arcturus, Dødheimsgard, Nekromantheon, Viper Solfa, Endezzma, Nocturnal Breed, and Execration. The full (current) lineup is as follows:

Abbath | Ancient | Arcturus | Blood Tsunami | CVLT | Djevel | Dødheimsgard | Endezzma | Execration | Funeral | Gorgoroth | Green Carnation | Ihsahn | Inculter | In The Woods | Khold | Manes | Nekromantheon | Nocturnal Breed | One Tail, One Head | Red Harvest | Svarttjern | Tristania | Viper Solfa | Virus | Vulture Industries | Plus More TBA More...

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Ancient Pushes Back Album Release

Remember classic black metal albums like "The Cainian Chronicle" and "Proxima Centauri" from Ancient?

Fans recently got their hopes up for a new release as the reactivated band announced new album "Back To The Land Of The Dead" was supposed to be out in May. With the month now at its end, Ancient has issued the following brief announcement about delays:

"We are sorry to inform you guys, but the production of the new Ancient album 'Back To The Land Of The Dead' is being delayed further, more news will follow in the next weeks..."

This upcoming release will be Ancient's first new studio album in 11 years since the release of 2004's "Night Visit." More...

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Blastfest 2016 To Celebrate Norwegian Metal Scene

Blastfest 2016 will be celebrating its national metal scene and will boast a lineup that will be 100% Norwegian.

Just hours after the final note rang out across the venue at Blastfest 2015, the organizers were brainstorming ideas for the third edition of the festival and here we are, a brand new concept: a one time only celebration of the Norwegian metal scene.

The 2016 editions will feature the triumphant return of the long-defunct Ancient, as well as other Norwegian luminaries such as Ihsahn and Tristania. The currently announced lineup (with more coming) is as follows:

Ancient
Blood Tsunami
Funeral
Gorgoroth
Green Carnation
Ihsahn
In The Woods
Khold
Manes
Red Harvest
Tristania
Virus

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Martyr Lucifer To Guest On New Ancient Album

Hortus Animae vocalist Martyr Lucifer is currently recording vocals for the upcoming new album from Ancient, which will be Ancient's first full-length studio output in 10 years. Hortus Animae comments:

"Martyr Lucifer entered Domination Studio (RSM) to record guest vocals for a song to be contained on 'Chapter VII: Back From the Land of the Dead,' the comeback album of the legendary Norwegian black metal band Ancient.

"Nick Barker has recorded the drums at Alpha-Omega Studio in Como (Italy), and the guitars are being recorded now. The master is expected to be ready in May. Zel will be recording vocals with Jacob Hansen (who also produced the 'Proxima Centauri' album) in Denmark.

"The release will probably take place around September, the label has still not been confirmed though."

A few song titles were recently announced to be "Born In The Land Of The Dead," "The Sempiternal Haze," and "The Ancient Disarray." The current Ancient line-up is:

Zel: Vocals, guitars, keyboards
Dhilorz: Guitars, bass
Nick Barker: Drums

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Ancient To Record New Album

After lying dormant for nearly 10 years, Ancient has checked in with the following announcement about recording a new album in 2014:

"The band will start recording the new album, the 7th album of Ancient, in the middle of February, in Como, north Italy, and the master will be ready in the end of march, meaning a release will probably take place around June or September next year.

"Some new song titles are as follows:

Born In The Land Of The Dead
The Sempiternal Haze
The Ancient Disarray

"More news will follow!"

This upcoming new album will follow the 2004 full-length release "Night Visit."

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Ancient Frontman Converts To Christianity

Ancient frontman Zel (formerly Aphazel) has issued the following announcement about converting to Christianity and update about the band working on a new album:

"Dear Ancient fans around this crazy world, it has been a long time since we launched news from Ancient, and many of you have gotten the impression that the band laid off after the Night Visit tours.

"I do admit that there has been times I believed the band had come to an end, especially after lack of inspiration for creating new music, having members practically spread around the globe and a rather tough situation with people downloading all music instead of buying cds, all in all made it look very dark and unrealistic that the band could come back and keep making albums again, and somehow I’ve felt it all slowly fading away.

"I am glad though, to announce that Ancient is no longer dead and we are again working on a new album. It’s hard to guess when we can be ready for recording, but I believe the beginning of 2012 can be the time for entering the studio, which means we can be looking at a release for spring next year.

"The new material I have been working with is a bit different than the older albums of Ancient, it is after all 7 years since Night Visit and during the years I’ve been inspired by many various kinds of music, not just metal. But I believe our fans will easily recognize our known style also with the new album. It seems most of the tracks will be more melodic than the ones on Night Visit and some will also be more technical somehow, without going too far in that direction. I have a feeling this album will become something VERY special and will please our fans beyond expectations.

"On a more personal note I can announce that as of lately I am now a christian (yes, I know some of you will freak out when reading this, but hey, I am really basically the same old guy as before) and in some ways this will affect the works I will be doing with Ancient from now on.

"This does not mean you’re about to get a more soft music from us or any such, do not worry. I am still living in Greece, and if things goes as planned I will be able to settle down here for good in about a year or two. Learning the Greek language doesn’t happen over night exactly. Things and plans may change, you never know, but for the moment this is my plan. It is sometimes an uncomfortable situation with having the other band members in Italy (Dhilorz), USA (Luci) and the UK (Nick Barker) but we will manage it, we always did in the past. More...

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OpEd

Broken Hearts: An Ode To Anti-Love Metal

February 14th is a date that means different things to different people. For some, Valentine’s Day is that special occasion to show someone how much you care, while for others it’s an unfortunate reminder of just how long that unused condom has been stashed in your wallet. For every lucky gentleman who has found the lady he can sexually accost without fear of court mandated harassment classes, there’s that lonely soul who will spend Valentine’s Day with nothing but music out the speakers and a bottle of Jack.

No matter which side you fall on, heavy metal has got a song to match your mood and help you head bang through the gooiest of all the holidays.

Whether any given track is purposefully over the top and funny, depressing enough to make you pull out the eyeliner and candles, or just plain outright disturbing, metal is no stranger to the anti-love song. So for those of you will be spending Valentine’s Day alone, or just simply think the holiday is nothing more than a marketing ploy to sell chocolates and greeting cards, here’s a series of anti-love anthems to get you through the day.

For those who still have a heart and haven't devolved into extreme cynicism, you can also check out our companion listing of pro-love heavy metal music at this location.

Humorous

Metalunderground.com is no stranger to aberrant sexual behavior, as we have the honor of being home the infamous “I’d put my tongue in her butt” forum thread. The following, um, “tongue-in-cheek” songs are all dedicated to everyone who has ever contributed a post to that thread.

Whether 80’s glam rock parody/tribute act Steel Panther is singing love songs or anti-love songs is a matter of some debate. What could be more loving than each band member’s willingness to sleep with anything that moves, regardless of VD status? Take the particularly touching song “Turn Out The Lights,” in which we are informed that front man Michael Starr is in desperate need of some physical attention, even though his partner actively disgusts him. What’s a horny rock star to do? Look no further than the title for the answer:

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