This will be a very short review, but I felt like I should throw it out here just because this album is fucking amazing. I won’t go into detail with each and every song, however I will try and make this review as detailed as possible.
Ahnenerbe is a side-circle of setsuna’s primary circle (which he has more or less left as of now) Black Night Funeral written as 黒夜葬 in kanji (Kokuyasou in romanji). I will refer to it as BNF for now, just for the sake of the pacing in this review and that I am a stubborn bitch and don’t really want to write the entire name all the time (even though it does look good on paper). BNF is pretty famous in the Touhou scene, with setsuna being the sole member of it. His arranges mixes the gothic element with speed and powermetal, making the lead sound very “chorus”-ish like. If you don’t understand, think about Lord of the Rings soundtrack with choir. The pitch and style is very similar to that, however change the sound of the choir to an electric guitar instead. There you got the lead, and the rest of the instruments follow this lead with precision making all the songs very generic towards goth and symphonic metal. Sometimes, even the vocals are a choir in the background.
Now then, as I previously mentioned Ahnenerbe is setsuna’s second side-circle. There is very little information about this perticular album though, so I am not very sure if it’s an album of arranged tracks, or if it’s an original album. However, all I know is that it’s bloody awesome. It’s a pure symphonic powermetal album consisting of nine delicious tracks, each heavily influenced by goth and powermetal (the album is more symphonic than any of the other). One could classify it as a vocal album seeing how many of the tracks has a background lead consisting of a choir, or a intro with a choir (actually, now when I think about it every track on this album’s intro has a choir in it). Then, if you don’t count a choir as vocals, so be it. But it’s still a vocal album. Hmpf!
Anyhow, this album is a pretty much give or take album. You either like it, or you don’t. Many of the songs has similar structure, or even the same even though the melody, choir and setup changes from track to track. The overall sound of the album is very bland and repeats into every track making it an extremely generic symphonic metal album. If one does not like metal with a keyboard, or choir in it (or just simply gothic/symphonic/powermetal in general) this album is nothing for you. The entire album reeks of it, but hell is it addictive and amazing. Even though many of the songs has the same structure, the album clearly has a lot of thought and devotion put into it. There’s a lot of highlights in every track, the guitars are always amazing and there to add something special whenever you don’t expect it. It’s very fast-paced and each track is a new composition of thundering instruments not giving you a chance to rest your ears. I think the only “breather” one is awarded with is in some of the intros, until setsuna decides to hit you with a wall of noise (now, when I say noise it’s nothing bad, it’s not a cascade of shit). Instead, it’s a wall of melodic noise put together into a composition so well done everything in the tracks just floats together, like water in a stream. There’s nothing in the tracks that actually stands out except when there’s a solo, introduction or ending. That is the epitome of almost perfect mastering.
I did mention it before, but BNF arranges is either a give or take. If you don’t like melodic metal in general (I do not mean thrash (which in my opinion actually is trash) or heavy-metal) do not bother with it. However, if you do like more melodic metal (and ALSO other genres!) I do recommend this album for you. Despite of it being so melodic, it’s extremely fast paced and won’t leave you bored. The tracks just seem to fly by thanks to advance composition, structure (which is repeated in some tracks) and a cascade of harmony in form of highlights and choir. This is by far setsuna’s most well made album he’s ever done. 8/10