Metal Canucks, Oh Canada!
Voice of the Void is the second offering from Anciients. The Vancouver based metal heads rocked the scene with their debut album Heart of Oak. Three years later and they’ve outdone themselves. They’ve often been compared to Opeth, but I’d throw in some Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon, stir vigorously and place in the fridge overnight. Serve chilled with a hearty side of volume and enjoy!
Following the Voice is a nice solid intro to the album. Clean and growly vocals by Kenneth Paul Cook and Chris Dyck, assisted by guitars that know what they’re doing. A strong and powerful song with definite direction.
Buried in Sand continues that direction with great drums and a slow, heavy pace. Mike Hannay commands the sticks well.
Worshipper features a strong Mastodon vibe (the good Mastodon, not the blergh Mastodon). A nice long intro that pushes into a powerful rich sound that will thump you at high volume. There’s a hint of Sabbath with a slow, doom-ish march, then into a long, visceral solo with an odd time signature that skews you a bit before the doom returns.
Pentacle has a strong Blackwater Park feel to it, but a bit sludgy, with vocals to match. Aaron ‘Boon’ Gustafson throws in some (sorely missed) Tool-esque bass work before we move to a bit of Haken. Good god, these guys bring in pieces from all over the place and it works so well!
Descending is a slow, melancholic well…. descent of acoustic goodness with highlights of slide guitar, organ synth and a lot of minor chords. Feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, or the impossible task ahead of you. Just don’t succumb to it, otherwise you won’t hear…
Ibex Eye slowly picking into more teasing Tool bass, then harsh guitars tempered by smooth vocals. And then we descend again into chaos… Not sure if a fade out was the best way here though. A song like this needs a definite ending. Definitely a favourite.
My Home, My Gallows continues the foreboding feeling throughout this album, but by this stage it is becoming a little bit samey. If listening in one go, I generally reach for another album around here to break it up a bit.
Serpents starts with more acoustic goodness, then slow, powerful plodding throughout. This track is reminiscent of the beginnings of Opeth’s dive into prog. I’m all for prog, but this is as far as they need to go.
Incantations is a wonderful way to round off a damn good album. The first half is acoustic instrumental glory, the second half is just pure class. There are a few monotonous bits, but it probably reflects more on song order than bad songs. Having said that, I wouldn’t change much. Would I buy a patch? I’ll have a listen to Heart of Oak before I open my wallet, but I’m leaning towards ‘yes’.
Voice of the Void is out now on Season of Mist.