Ancestortooth
Elephant Boneyard


4.5
superb

Review

by For Meatplow USER (61 Reviews)
November 13th, 2010 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ancestortooth are determined to grab you by the sack and not let go until you're sterile and screaming.

What I love most about Ancestortooth's Elephant Boneyard is that regardless of what mood I'm in before listening to it, as soon as I throw myself into its unforgiving clutches I'm quickly whisked away into another land where everything is in service of a haunting atmosphere. Be it the dark shadows ghosting on prickly bushes in the nighttime forest, or the snow falling furiously to the ground, or even the apparitions floating up from the snow intent on scaring your balls out of your scrotum, it's a crushing place to be in. But it's just so ***ing atmospheric that calling it anything other than utterly engrossing is almost criminal, if a bit ironic, seeing that its intentions are easy to figure out. I mean, drone metal has been done to death before, with grueling and slow instrumentation that builds in density and atmosphere more so than it focuses on any recognizable structure, so the band's cruel intentions and misanthropy are expected from the get-go. Yet this comes out as a good thing because Ancestortooth make a pact with you from the start and they don't let you down.

The Promise:
Ancestortooth are determined to grab you by the sack and not let go until you're sterile and screaming.

Now pardon that last hyperbole, but I find it essential to emphasize just how grueling of a listen this can be, as this seven song compilation is all about being profoundly grim. It's a collection of blustering lo-fi distortion as well as sustained chords that transform into some unexpected riff-fests with relatively speedy tempos. Of course both sections are at times equally intense with their layers of sonic assault, but the members of Ancestortooth are masters of subtle changes which make outrageous changes in the effect of their sound. Slow crescendoes are portentous of doom - where cathartic howling and dissonant chords collide, completely opposite to the slightly quieter passages that more closely resemble melancholy than misanthropy. This goes on for over an hour, swirling you into its noisy vortex of impenetrable hatred which makes it an emotionally gratifying release in ironic terms. Such terms being that Elephant Boneyard is the musical equivalent of a depressant.

However, it's cinematic and effective in transporting you to a wintry Hell of a place. And musically, the album focuses on both suspense and the rolling of the wheels which bring you to your destination. On the latter half of the album, apocalyptic doom slowly gains speed until its once lo-fi, sludgy appeal is a cantankerous jackhammer of grinding guitars and maniacal drum patterns several times. And both the slow crescendoes and the focus on expanding pre-existing atmospheric tendencies are vital to its effectiveness. Without them both, you might still be dwelling in your dark basement and not in the dark, static hole or the bleak midwinter that Ancestortooth is so adamant in bringing you to.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
liledman
November 13th 2010


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

downloaded the other day, will listen soon.

Dryden
November 13th 2010


12928 Comments


Ancestortooth rules.

couldwinarabbit
November 13th 2010


6996 Comments


"Ancestortooth are determined to grab you by the sack and not let go until you're sterile and screaming."

well I really don't want to listen to this...but pretty swell review. Pos

DeafMetal
November 13th 2010


8588 Comments


Rules. Good review chief.

rasputin
November 13th 2010


14546 Comments


yeah it's a pretty good record, you overrate it though, but you do that with everything you think is obscure

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2010


17215 Comments


i remember this

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Wizard
November 13th 2010


19444 Comments


Sounds like something I would have sex to. Good review, need to check this out.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Bitchfork
November 13th 2010


7584 Comments


"yeah it's a pretty good record, you overrate it though, but you do that with everything you think is obscure"
no i just adore this kind of stuff. i mean there's better drone than this out there (earth, as I'm sure you'd agree) but still this is the shit.

BallsToTheWall
November 13th 2010


44482 Comments


Words like atmosphere, misanthropic, portentous, melancholy and swirling vortex give me a hard on. Im sold.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Bitchfork
November 13th 2010


7584 Comments


You'd love this.

ThyCrossAwaits
November 14th 2010


3053 Comments


I'm trying to decide whether "bleak midwinter" was purposeful or not.

Bitchfork
November 14th 2010


7584 Comments


it was a gustav holst reference that didn't fit in in terms of musical shit but all of this was hyperbolic verbiage in service of describing the atmosphere so in that way I guess it worked.

ThyCrossAwaits
November 14th 2010


3053 Comments


Ah, so it was a reference to Holst.

Ovrot
November 14th 2010


10495 Comments


This looks cool.
Need to listen.

Bitchfork
November 14th 2010


7584 Comments


You'd love it Ovrot.

Ovrot
November 14th 2010


10495 Comments


Where can I find it?

Bitchfork
November 14th 2010


7584 Comments


the internet.

Bitchfork
November 14th 2010


7584 Comments


giving out links is a bannable offense just letting you know.

Ovrot
November 14th 2010


10495 Comments


Really?
Oh well.

I found some and i'm digging it.

Bitchfork
November 14th 2010


7584 Comments


yeah it's awesome.



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