Anciients: Heart Of Oak

Vancouver’s crushing newbies get their homework done

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If this debut was a party for very cool people, with Ghost and Kvelertak making smalltalk in the kitchen, Anciients would be the newbies on the doorstep as guests eyeball them with curious envy.

Frequently steamrollering a brutal concoction of bruising stoner riffs with blood-curdling screams and fearsome guitar licks, …Oak is as solid as its arboreal namesake. Throughout, the expansive and tempestuous tracks wielding a flag to High On Fire, Mastodon and Baroness infuse doomy low-slung onslaughts with intricate compositions adding further progressive elements and post-metal atmospheres.

Simultaneously comatose and superbly electrifying, each song glistens with intelligent savagery, from the caustic Falling In Line that snarls at every signature change to The Longest River with its mass of blastbeats leading its plaintive opening bars and the languid prog musings of For Lisa that harks at Isis on their lighter days. Opeth and Baroness have never made such marvellous bedfellows. Well worth a visit.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.