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Anciients - Heart Of Oak CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.43 | 21 ratings

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3 stars "Heart of Oak" is the debut full-length studio album by Canadian, Vancouver based progressive/sludge metal act Anciients. The album was released through Season of Mist in April 2013. Anciients formed in 2009 and released the "Snakebeard" EP in 2011.

The music on "Heart of Oak" is a very eclectic mix of different metal and rock genres and therefore quite difficult to tag correctly. But I guess a mix of progressive metal, some post- and sludge metal elements, and a few nods toward death metal, black metal, hard rock and traditional heavy metal arenīt a completely wrong description of what the music sounds like. I hear quite a bit of Mastodon and especially Baroness in the music, but Anciients are not a clone act by any means. The vocals on the album are predominantly clean, but there are occasional outbursts of raspy almost black metal type vocals and growling vocals on the music too. The music is dynamic and both atmospheric and riff driven. "Heart of Oak" definitely feature itīs fair share of heavy riff sections and quite a few harmony guitar sections. The latter which reeks traditional heavy metal.

The tracks are structurally challenging and while most feature vers/chorus sections, all tracks evolve and go though several sections and atmospheres during their playing time (which are for the most part between 6 and 9 minutes long). The musicianship are on a high level, even though the vocals are of a pretty standard quality. To my ears the clean vocals are a bit anonymous and the extreme vocals lack a bit of character. They get the job done though but itīs definitely an area where Anciients could improve. The sound production is professional, clear, and powerful. Itīs maybe a bit too polished for itīs own good though and a more gritty sound production might have provided the music with a more suitingly raw sound. Itīs an aquired taste though and the sound production is very well sounding as it is.

"Heart of Oak" is on most levels a quality release by Anciients and arguably a promising debut. However I canīt help feel that it could have been better with more interesting vocal performances and a more suiting sound production so a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fair.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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