Black Metal veterans ANCIENT RITES follow up their live album "And The Hordes Stood As One" with a DVD of same title and it is a journey through the history of the Belgians, recorded in Vosselaar's Biebob, with songs throughout their so far four complete regular albums, spanning their already 15 year career.
The concert has been put on silicone in excellent picture and even more impressive sound quality, back in July 2002 and it should not disappoint any fan of the band around Gunther Theys, if they will manage to find new fans will remain to be seen, even though this DVD is a very good possibility to come to know the band.
Of course it always is an advantage for a band to play before their home crowd, so too for ANCIENT RITES, because they have the crowd under control right away and that is the best thing for a live gig, hehe. And if then, as in this case, the quality is right, too, then everything is in the green without a doubt and then results in a strong live document like this one.
As I had only known the last two albums, I had "feared" that the old material would be more "full force ahead", but on "And The Hordes Stood As One" it shows that ANCIENT RITES ever since their beginning had been more than just the usual Black Metal, but also in earlier times had worked with far more melodies and also clean vocals and therefore nicely differ from the rest of the rest of the pack.
Added to that we also get a very interesting documentation about the 2000 Finland tour, which also gives us a look behind the scenes (Thank God for the invention of sub-titles!!!) and that also is well done, if you disregard a few a bit confuse camera turns. The two videos for "And The Horns Called For War" and "Victory Or Valhalla" are a very nice addition, the first one is a live recording, while the latter one is a mix of a live show and some shots of nature, nicely done. Then we still have a photo gallery and a few shots from various live shows over the years.
All in all I have to say that " And The Hordes Stood As One" has turned out an excellent DVD, which shows us ANCIENT RITES in excellent live form and is a great chance for newbies to make contact with the sound of the Belgians. Even though a few people think that they are stuck in second league, I have to say that ANCIENT RITES are an excellent band that has broadened Black Metal for themselves very nicely. (Online September 7, 2003)