Anciients
Heart Of Oak


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheSpaceMan USER (17 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2013 | 66 replies


Release Date: 04/12/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What the Anciients have done here is nothing short of excellent

Many people will argue that there are two types of bands: those that strive to perfect a previously established sound, or those that push for a completely new sound altogether. However nowadays it’s becoming increasingly easy (and lazy) for a band to claim to attempt both of these in one swing by simply calling themselves “progressive”. Modern progressive music is sort of an oxymoron, as it’s a genre that encourages a lack of genres. Bands tend to get slapped with this label by their producers when the reality is, they are just stereotypes of another band. We’ve all heard the Opeth clones and the Porcupine Tree wannabes, so how can we call these guys and their followers progressive if they are clearly forming a niche that can be replicated?

Whether or not Anciients have asked themselves this during recording isn’t really important. What is important is how they managed to perfect this stale and rehashed “prog” sound. What do I mean by this? Well what the Anciients have done here is nothing short of excellent. They have tried to do what many bands do all the time: blend a multitude of sounds to create a juxtaposed mess of music to garner a progressive label. This time, however, they have done it right. There is rarely a dull moment on this release and I’m not afraid to make that claim. Listening through front to back is pure pleasure and never a chore. Throughout it are elements of soft rock and extreme metal, and everything in between the spectrum. What separates Heart of Oak from every other band that has tried this before is how every riff, drum beat, bass line and vocal melody belong here. It sounds like they represent the perfect ambassador for whatever genre they may seem to be playing in at that moment. Unlike a lot of other “prog” releases, Heart of Oak has filtered out of any music that should not be there. Nothing sounds strained or like a missed attempt for the sake of being progressive. In layman’s terms, there are seldom, if any, forced passages on this.

The softer moments are great and can easily hold their own if alone on the album. Instead, they act as silver linings to the already astonishingly powerful metal-driven moments that make up the meat of the record. These heavier sections are incredible to say the least. The bone-crushing chugs twist around pounding double bass until they are rocketed into the next black metal riff of pure insanity. The rhythms are catchy and the solos are great. What is most surprising is how good it sounds on the first listen, even with the complexity kicked into full gear.

Heart of Oak is one of those albums that is so well done, it makes you wonder why other bands can’t do something like it more often. Then again, that would just become fuel to the vicious progressive paradox that has plagued many before. Other acts should still, however, take this release as proof that it is possible to push the envelope on what defines progression without having to take a blind leap of faith into uncharted territory.



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user ratings (159)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpaceMan
May 3rd 2013


2506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my longest review, and I think its a deserving album for it. Feedback is appreciated

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


21452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review could use some work. you dont say much about the music, everything is very vague and more indicative of the genre overall. not bad though, especially for a 5th review. album is indeed awesome

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

TheSpaceMan
May 3rd 2013


2506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man, i've been getting a lot of feedback like that. I've always preferred the more vague reviews that describe the overall album rather than walking through the sounds individually with a mess of references, but its silly to assume I can write something like that without some experience

Mad.
May 3rd 2013


3967 Comments


Yeah, what does the album actually sound like?

shepaintedfire
May 3rd 2013


63 Comments


eughhh

Evreaia
May 3rd 2013


4045 Comments


haven't herad prog in a while, gotta check

CosmicPie
May 3rd 2013


1078 Comments


These guys are really good, but the Black Metal vocals tarnish it. It starts to get expansive... only to get sucked into this suffocating pit with those BM vocals.

CK
May 3rd 2013


4928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I saw them live on the Death to All tour. They ruled, but I feel like they didn't have much of a presence

Digging: Death - Human

CaptainDooRight
May 3rd 2013


29881 Comments


pos'd nice review, i have this bookmard so I should probably check it already

Digging: Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence

halloway
May 3rd 2013


684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This album is great, although some parts can feel sorta long (esp during the middle). The last 3 tracks are fannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnntastic.

halloway
May 3rd 2013


684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Yeah, what does the album actually sound like?"

Kinda like Opeth + Coheed + Slough Feg with a dash of southern rock.

TheSpaceMan
May 3rd 2013


2506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you recommended this to me on a list halloway, and when i checked it out i loved it

halloway
May 3rd 2013


684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cool, glad you listened. Good review, too; I pos'd.

MuhNamesTyler
May 5th 2013


4304 Comments


Man, this is great stuff.

Good review as well pos

Digging: Revocation - Deathless

toolguitarkid
May 8th 2013


263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album
good review!

CrimsonLies
May 9th 2013


2044 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This came to a surprise for me, really good stuff

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2013


6154 Comments


might be time for me to finally give this a listen

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2013


6154 Comments


ye love how the dude is unaware that someone swapped his baby for a crow cause he has no eyes LOL

TheSpaceMan
May 9th 2013


2506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah the artwork is sweet, it really matches the music on here too. give it a shot if prog metals up your alley

TheSpaceMan
May 9th 2013


2506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ill assume I owe you for a pos on my review? haha just kidding man ill check it out



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