Personnel includes: Slava (vocals); London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Engineers: Gary Barlough, Chris Dibble, Shin-ichi Akagawa.
ANCIENT was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.
On this 2001 release, Kitaro continues his exploration of symphonic sound, creating a highly cinematic travelogue of Ancient Egypt. One might expect an album about Egypt to feature exotic instrumentation or a world fusion sound, but ANCIENT's sensibilities derive mostly from Western classical traditions. Aside from some vaguely tribal-sounding percussion in "Tumba Dance," this is a Westerner's take on the Middle East of old, replete with a guest appearance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The opening theme, "Nile," gushes forth with all the force of the nominal river and flows sweetly, with subtle, wordless vocals. The mincing "Ritual Dance" recalls, strangely but entertainingly, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies." Other nice moments include the brooding "Wave from Ancient" and the playful, pretty "Unicorn." "Beyond" is a strong album-closer that leaves you wondering how Kitaro will top himself next time.