Völur - Ancestors album review

Canadian three-piece uncover a new resonance for doom

Cover art for Völur - Ancestors album

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Doom has long been a sturdy subgenre; with the traditional route still being lovingly maintained, it’s freed others to go down the funereal route or combine the base elements with death metal. Völur, however, take their doom in a different direction, forgoing the standard guitars for the inclusion of mournful violin instead. Where 2013’s Disir dealt with heroines from Germanic lore, this new work follows their male counterparts. The Canadians are treading in the footsteps of SubRosa by using ethereal strings to evoke fantastic lands and heroes with Laura C Bates’ violin expressing more sorrowful tones while the bass explores melody to build layers of tension. Lucas Gadke bellows out over Breaker of Skulls, heating up the folky textures that cloak the record and as the track moves into gorgeous, echoing strings and then to sombre cries, Ancestors reveals shades of darkness that sink deep under the skin and push emotion to the surface, entrancing all who encounter them.