"Dim Carcosa" (Black Mark; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Hailing from Belgium and often characterized as a black metal band, Ancient Rites actually comes across as a mix of melodic black metal and speedy power metal with some Viking flavors thrown in as well.

"Dim Carcosa" is Ancient Rites' fourth full-length album over their long and star-crossed history; the band also has a lot of material in the form of split CDs with other bands and assorted demos. "Dim Carcosa" is a concept CD of sorts with lyrics that tell a tale of modern man dreaming of what's behind the horizon and transporting him back in time.

While high intensity guitar/bass work is the highlight of "Dim Carcosa" it is the keyboard work that really makes the disc stand out from the pack. For a supposed 'black metal' disc "Dim Carcosa" is chock full of varied rhythms and diverse song structures -- so complex is "Dim Carcosa" that it requires multiple, dedicated listens to fully appreciate.

"Dim Carcosa" is quite an impressive disc -- I'm surprised it slipped under my radar for so long. Thanks to my buddy Kirk for keeping me in touch with some gems from the underground that are worth hearing. And I hope Ancient Rites 'escape' from the underground comes soon as this is a band that deserves to be heard.

Ancient Rites: Gunther Theys on vocals and bass, Erik Sprooten and Jan Yrlund on guitars, Domingo Smets on keyboards, and Walter Van Cortenberg on drums.

"Dim Carcosa" was produced by Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Aug 2023 21:18:42 -0400.