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.

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.