I found out about Anciients right after they released their debut album “Heart of Oak.” It was one of those accidental findings where I saw the cover art, read the title and decided to check them out. I was completely blown away by “Heart of Oak,” so “Voice of the Void” was one of my most anticipated releases of the year.
The good news is that Anciients have delivered once again. Usually if a band has a fully developed sound on their debut, the sophomore album winds up being a disappointment. Anciients still sound like they did on the first album. They remind me of a mix of Mastodon and Opeth. Imagine if Mastodon were still very progressive and Opeth still sounded like they did back in the day. That’s Anciients.
The band can flat out PLAY. Riff after motherfucking riff, amazing solos throughout, powerhouse drumming, strong clean vocals and brutal harsh vocals. The onslaught starts with the opening track “Following the Voice” which is a good representation of the damage that Anciients can inflict. The song is followed by not one but two epics: “Buried in Sand” and “Worshipper.” These are my two favorite tracks because they showcase everything that the band can do. They are massive sounding, have a lot going on and these are GREAT songs.
The closing epic “Incantations” is another favorite because it starts out quiet before it attacks. Similarly, “Serpents” is mellow to start before it kicks in but it’s more “user friendly” with no harsh vocals. One similarity between this album and their debut is the use of an “oasis” type song in the middle of the album. “Descending” is the acoustic based instrumental that gives the listener a reprieve before “Ibex Eye” takes over.
The one criticism that I have of “Voice of the Void” is regarding “Ibex Eye.” IT FADES AT THE END! I hate when heavy bands do that. Give me the ending of the song. I know it must have one!! Still, it’s a great song despite that. The bottom line is that Anciients have done it again. This is another well produced, multi-layered, heavy yet melodic album. If one were to ask me how I like my prog metal to sound, “Voice of the Void” is a damn good place to start!
1. Following The Voice
2. Buried In Sand
6. Ibex Eye
7. My Home, My Gallows
Label: Season of Mist