Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Heart Of Oak

The Anciients have been a rising force in the Vancouver Metal scene for a while. So, when their new album "Heart Of Oak" came out, I had to grab it. Having seen this band live a couple of times now, and just about having eargasms each time, I had to see if it translated well onto record. This album sums up their sound in just over an hours worth of soul crushing metal. With 11 tracks on this album, it's worth every dollar.

One thing that I especially love about this album is the balance of clean and dirty vocals. The clean vocals have a "Mastodon" feel to them. It always seems like a heart wrenching cry. On the other end, the screams are just so dark and gritty that it brings a very different feel in those sections. However, the key ingredient is the fact that the band spaces their vocals out over the length of their songs. Which allows the instrumental riffs to have a key factor in the songs' structures. A lot of the time, there are no vocals for a long period of time, allowing you to sink into their instrumental world and hear the image they are sonically painting for you.

With so many fantastic original riffs, they tend not to dwell on them for long. A lot of times, not coming back to revisit any of them. Both guitars lay the fundamentals for the mood of each song. Whether it's a straight up thrash riff, or a swing powerchord riff, the guitars sit perfectly in the pocket. The harmonies in the guitar lines and separation of parts is perfect. The bass fills not only the lower end, but is the driving force pushing the tempo sightly ahead to allow the songs room to breathe. The drums compliment each tune, adding great texture and really cementing all the parts of the songs together. 

Looking at the album through a sound engineers eyes, I cannot find fault with it. Every instrument has it's own space carved out perfectly in each track. The guitars are heavy but not washed out at all. The bass carries a lot of the lower end, though also has it's moments to shine. The drums are nice and full and the snare sounds perfect. This album is radio and tv worthy by all means. Now, if only MTV still played music and the radio still played metal! Go out and buy this album either online or from checking the band out live on their upcoming North American tour!

Click HERE to check out their Facebook page.

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