Ancient VVisdom: A Godlike Inferno

Never mind the warlocks, here’s Beelzebub unplugged.

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He may have all the best tunes, but what does Lucifer listen to when kicking back and chillaxing in Hell? Texas-based brotherhood Ancient VVisdom provide some pointers with their moody, melodic, unplugged take on diabolical folk-metal.

The band describe this debut as “the evolution of Satan’s influence on modern pop culture”. And they are not joking, as stand-out tracks like symphonic epic The Opposition and the pagan grunge-blues of Devil Brain offer up irony-free prayers of worship to the Dark Lord – no Simon Cowell jokes, please.

Singer Nathan Opposition has a doomy, boomy baritone in the James Hetfield mould, often summoning the dread-filled spirit of Metallica’s acoustic power-ballad side. That said, Lost Civilization revives the dirty-glam swagger of Ziggy-era Bowie, while croaky-voiced strum Children Of The Wasteland sounds like Will Oldham covering Black Sabbath.

Even without the demonic trimmings, this is a dark and brooding beast of a debut, wreathed in fearful portent and black-mass ambience.