Sjak : Ancestral Dawn is a new metal band from far-away Peru, founded in 2013, which has been able to get a whole lot of well-known guest musicians interested to contribute to this debut album ‘Souldance’. If you have the cooperation of people like Fabio Lione (Rhapsody/Angra), Rick Altzi (Masterplan/At Vance), Jonas Heidgert (Dragonland/Destiny), Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Roland Grapow (Masterplan/ex-Helloween), Amanda Somerville (Avantasia) and Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), then you’re already quite a bit ahead of the competition. The guest musicians also provide a fine indication of where you need to place this band from a style perspective, because they mix traditional South American instruments with adventurous symphonic power metal where the guests that are featured here are so known for. That brings us a most charming album, on which especially the whipping guitar work, the smooth compositions and the great vocals are shining through in a positive way. Best examples of this are ‘Stormhaze’, ‘Whispers In The Grey’ and title track ‘Souldance’, but the rest of the ten songs on offer here aren’t lagging too far behind.
Fans of bands like Avantasia, Rhapsody Of Fire and Primal Fear will find this Ancestral Dawn debut album very easy to digest and as such they’ve created a solid foundation for a possible successful international career, although that will not be an easy task for a band from Peru. Furthermore I’m also quite curious whether they will be capable of holding their own as a band, because on this debut album the many guest musicians spice things up quite a bit, and they will need to prove on a possible next album that they are also capable of achieving this quality level without this outside help. On the basis of what they deliver on this debut album, I’m inclined to think that they’re very capable of proving that, because ‘Souldance’ has in all aspects become a very enjoyable album, without being able to compete yet with the true top acts in the genre by the way. Maybe that this will come in the near future, because this debut album has certainly become a very solid affair.