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ANCIIENTS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Canada


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Anciients biography
Vancouver-based act ANCIIENTS, formed in 2009, combine progressive metal with stoner and sludge metal with psychedelic leanings. Their sound ranges from the punishing heavy riffs of HIGH ON FIRE to atmospheric passages reminiscent of PINK FLOYD. Featuring varied vocal deliveries, lengthy songs and tight musicianship, after a self-released EP in 2011, their debut full-length has been released by Season Of Mist records in April 2013.

This quartet is composed of: Kenny Cook (Lead Vocals, Guitars), Chris Dyck (Guitar and Vocals), Aaron "Boon" Gustafson (Bass) and Mike Hannay (Drums).

Biography by Prog Sothoth

Anciients official website

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Buy ANCIIENTS Music


Voice of the VoidVoice of the Void
Season of Mist 2016
Audio CD$10.13
$6.81 (used)
Heart of OakHeart of Oak
Season of Mist 2013
Audio CD$10.65
$6.99 (used)
Heart of Oak by Anciients (2013-05-04)Heart of Oak by Anciients (2013-05-04)
Season of Mist
Audio CD$35.74
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Anciients: Heart Of Oak - Limited Edition CD 2013 Bonus Tracks SOM Digipak NEW USD $14.95 Buy It Now
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Anciients - Heart Of Oak [New Vinyl LP] Ltd Ed, Purple USD $27.23 Buy It Now 22h 21m
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Anciients - Heart of Oak CD (2013 Heavy Metal MINT) Dead Quiet/Black Wizard USD $10.14 Buy It Now 4 days
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Heart of Oak by Anciients (Vinyl, Apr-2013, Season of Mist) USD $28.50 Buy It Now 7 days
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ANCIIENTS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANCIIENTS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 20 ratings
Heart Of Oak
2013
4.14 | 7 ratings
Voice of the Void
2016

ANCIIENTS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ANCIIENTS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ANCIIENTS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ANCIIENTS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.92 | 4 ratings
Snakebeard
2011

ANCIIENTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Heart Of Oak by ANCIIENTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.42 | 20 ratings

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Heart Of Oak
Anciients Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's early Baroness and there's Mastodon's progressive side. There's Opeth and The Sword. And there's a tinge of Voivod as well as classic hard rock. And all those things together give you a pretty good idea of what Anciients sound like.

I was very interested when I heard about a progressive metal band from the Vancouver area because "progressive", "metal", and "Vancouver" are all close to my heart. As I sank my ears into the music of this, the debut album "Heart of Oak", I immediately felt all was so familiar and yet with subsequent listens I was able to pick out where the familiarity was coming from.

Anciients' songs are much like classic Opeth in that they often run from six to ten minutes in length and shift, or leap, from one riff and rhythm to another. Take a song like "Falling in Line" which begins like classic early Steve Perry Journey (I just got "Infinity" a couple of weeks before this album) with acoustic guitar that leads to a classic seventies slightly technical rock riff before the song becomes heavier. The vocals are clean and powerful, bringing to mind Dave Grohl, but then the throat-shredding howls and growls shriek into your ear drums. Abruptly, a Between the Buried & Me-type bass line emerges and percussion and guitar follow in odd meter. Towards the end, the song slows down and drops big bombs of power chords and cymbal crashes before coming to a solid conclusion. All that in 8:21.

But we need not jump directly to track three. From the onset, I found myself enjoying the songs, first, second, third, fourth and then for the fifth track a short acoustic instrumental. Anciients use acoustic guitar a few times on the album, though unlike Opeth that peppered their older albums with many acoustic interludes, Anciients stick to song intros and short instrumental tracks.

One of the things I really enjoy about the album is the diversity of influences that manifest themselves in the band's approach to writing and performing songs. There are three vocal styles: clean-like-Dave, the throat-shredder, and the Akerfeldt growl/roar. You'll catch the powerful sludge attack of Baroness's "Red Album", the thundering approach of Mastodon's "Leviathan" and more progressive "Crack the Skye", some of the stoner metal crunch of The Sword's "Warp Riders", and a lot of wonderful lead guitar work. That's one of the things that has really captured my attention about Anciients music on both of their albums, and that is the lead guitar solos. We're not assailed with meteor showers of shredded notes and not caught in the pinch and wavering whine of death metal screaming guitar notes. The guitar solos sound "felt" and inspired by some of the great hard rock and early metal solos of the seventies. There is a sense for the music which in turn seems constructed to showcase the solo.

The original album closes with a surprising spacerock instrumental. Slow and lazy with a classic space rock feel, "For Lisa" sounds more like something California's retro-space-prog Astra would have done than a heavy metal band. Some may like it; others may say it's too incongruous with the style of the rest of the album.

"Heart of Oak" is aggressive music in places, progressive music in places, retrogressive music here, and impressive almost everywhere. But don't come to Anciients looking for three-minute, steam locomotive, thunder blasts. If nine minutes of meandering music that soothes, hammers, gallops, twists, turns, and then slowly pounds is not what you have patience for then look another way.

I have only one critic of this album and that's the sound quality. It could be a little clearer to help bring out the punch more or perhaps a little grittier instead. It's hard to say because the guitars pack a wallop which could be more effective with more crunch but the technical and clean side would probably sound better clearer. Turning up the volume a bit helps the rough side anyway. My copy also has two bonus tracks, which are the two songs off the original EP "Snakebeard". The sound is a little lower in production value on these two though the songs themselves are consistent with the style of the band on nearly all of the rest of the album. Admittedly though, after recently listening to so many albums that clock by in under 35 minutes, "Heart of Oak" with the two bonus tracks seems long. I mean we're talking 74 minutes of music. This is probably best played alongside an Ayreon or Dream Theater album with "Blackwater Park" added to the playlist.

 Heart Of Oak by ANCIIENTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.42 | 20 ratings

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Heart Of Oak
Anciients Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 Snakebeard by ANCIIENTS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.92 | 4 ratings

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Snakebeard
Anciients Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

3 stars AncIIents are a canadian prog metal band, that would please Opeth and Mastodon fans. This EP appears as a bonus together with Heart of Oak, their 2013 release. Very similar to the full lenght atmosphere, and it's a 2 piece EP. The first song (Humanist) it's some kind of a Cynic heavy metal oriented with stoner/sludge influences. A good one. The second song is good too, but I don't like the intro, too boring and cliche. The second half of the song have great moments. This EP is best than every track at their Heart of Oak, but For Lisa.
 Heart Of Oak by ANCIIENTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.42 | 20 ratings

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Heart Of Oak
Anciients Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

3 stars Groove metal + Opeth. The album art/covers are good. AncIIents' Heart of Oak is not a bad album, but most of the songs aren't what I expected. The album opening, Raise The Sun, start in a progressive way. Yeah, the intro is fine. But I did not like the growls and screams from the band. The songs are very similar to each other in my opinion, not in the riffs, but in the mood. Overthrone is an overall good track. Falling in Line is an extreme stoner/sludge metal. Nothing special about it. The Longest River, Giants, and Faith And Oath, sounds pretty much like the same. The final two tracks are the stronger. Flood And Fire is cool. But the last and ending track, "For Lisa", is the masterpiece of the album: a Pink Floydesque instrumental. It's a great great track!
Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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