Ancestors
Suspended in Reflections


4.0
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
August 24th, 2018 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the most immersive journeys under 40 minutes…

Six years passed since we last heard new music from Ancestors. They released a string of impressive records between 2008 and 2012, each taking several steps further in their sonic evolution. Biggest highlight, In Dreams and Time was a truly immersive journey that brought all their influences and experiments together. It wasn’t an easy listen, but complexity and constantly unfolding layers created its exquisite beauty. Fast forward to 2018, after losing two members, the band returned as a trio with an album half the length of its two predecessors. Initially, I thought this would be closer in sound to the scorching Neptune with Fire, still, the guys took the opposite route. This is the most subdued and reflective LP in their catalog so far, however, the results are just as effective.

Ancestors always captured a wide array of styles in their music, whether we talk about sludgy numbers, progressive epics or classical piano infused odysseys (or all in one song). It was hard to narrow down their sound, much to their benefit. On Suspended in Reflections (which clocks in at only 36 minutes) there’s less room for expansion, yet you can also see the record as one long track split in 6 segments. There’s more emphasis on moody, keyboards-led moments with atmospheric guitars, even though the latter soar occasionally throughout. The book-ending cuts, both debuted in the past few months are closer to what we’ve heard from the band before: ‘Gone’ is a slow burner boasting sharp guitars and beautiful, clean vocals. The mantric repetition of the main riff would make YOB proud of the hypnotic result. Meanwhile, the laid back coda, focusing on faint leads, various cool drum fills, plus a nice windy synth, makes for a great transition to the eerie, ‘Through a Window’. The backing piano notes and pale bass create a mournful vibe, leading to a climax of layered melodic vocals and dramatic progressions. The guys kept the compositions succinct and it’s considerably easier to follow along for the entire album span.

‘Lying in the Grass’ and ‘Release’ are the most haunting tunes on Suspended in Reflections. The former takes its cues from quiet Mogwai ditties, feeling like a soundtrack to a night spent outside watching the stars somewhere remote. The heavy riffs with slightly raucous vocals are even more powerful amid the subtle arrangements. The latter acts as an instrumental interlude before the final song on the record, ‘The Warm Glow’. Using somber keyboards and feedback on the first half, we’re soon treated with a lounge-tinged part, where a nice upright bass solo takes place. Towards the end things get darker again, leading us to the closing number, whose build-up is lovely. Soaring riffs are welcomed back for one more round, accompanied by a glorious, fuzz-drenched guitar solo halfway through. The crawling speed of Ancestors’ music has become their trademark, (very) rarely speeding the tempo. The band definitely found a sweet spot and rightfully holds dear to it.

As soon as the chords and drum beat stop, you can’t help but realize how far this short journey took you. There’s something about the atmosphere Ancestors create that’s simply amazing. I recommend you give Suspended in Reflections at least one listen as a whole, because one song is not enough to plunge in their universe. Alongside Neptune with Fire, the LP is easily a gateway for new/casual fans and I admire them for creating such a strong, concise record.




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user ratings (52)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2018


4639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album!



'Gone' (official video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7jg7n1Fsw8



Full stream - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qk-XlAM7_A

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Dewinged
August 24th 2018


12392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssss!!!



Glad you covered it man, this is SO good.

Digging: Funeral Chic - Superstition

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
August 24th 2018


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

^ exactly what dewi said, this album's a beauty

Digging: Milanku - Monument du non?-?tre & Mouvement du non?-?vivant

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2018


4639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! I was supposed to write about Interpol's new album, but I dig this a lot.

Dewinged
August 24th 2018


12392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You chose the right album Raul ;)

LamboGD
August 24th 2018


69 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sick album art



In Dreams and Time was great, so may check this

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 24th 2018


28404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The artwork intrigues me. Gonna have to check.

Digging: John Nolan - Abendigo

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2018


4639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@LamnboGD - You should like this too, it's not far sound-wise, only less heavy.



@Sowing - Do it!

guitarded_chuck
August 24th 2018


16552 Comments


that cover is lsd as fuck, groovy baby

PistolPete
August 24th 2018


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This looks delicious thanks for reviewing I will listen

Digging: Irreversible - Surface

JasonCarne
August 24th 2018


1000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Loved this one, it's my current AOTY. Nice review too!

nolerthebowler
August 24th 2018


2566 Comments


Love the album cover

Sabrutin
August 24th 2018


5777 Comments


Jammed on a whim because of the artwork, then the wailing guitars at the beginning drew me in. Cool album, a little rigid perhaps. Will return.

Mad.
August 24th 2018


4732 Comments


Oh shit man props for reviewing this, heard the first single of this when it came out and it had mad potential


Underflow
August 24th 2018


4373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just finished my first listen. This is beautiful stuff.

tinathefatlard
August 24th 2018


1642 Comments


Looking at the album and reading this review, is it sort of like The Flashbulb’s STAVL in terms of tone?

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
August 24th 2018


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

In case anyone was wondering, the artist who made the album cover goes by @spiritedanimals on Instagram.

JustJoe.
August 24th 2018


5435 Comments


"Of Sound Mind" was m/

This album art is as well.

Digging: HMOT - Oneirology

deezer666
August 24th 2018


3756 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pelagic records are absolutely killing it this year. This record. Lesser glow/LLNN/Abraham! all quality.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2018


4639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And wait for the new The Ocean album, I'm sure it's gonna be awesome.



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