Vancouver-based metal outfit Anciients has unleashed their debut album, “Heart of Oak” through Season of Mist from seemingly out of nowhere. I honestly do not even know how to categorize this band because they touch so many genres because they are all over the map, but they seem to hit a lot of highs in their approach to “Heart of Oak.”
The band is more akin to bands like Opeth, Mastodon or The Sword. They use monstrous, chunky riffs and varying vocals with more focus on the clean vocals than gritty vocals. The groove is there in most songs and there are even some atmospheric clean elements to the music. Anciients incorporate many stoner-esque elements and even infuse some jazz elements into their sound. I should note that I am not a fan of Mastodon for the most part. The Leviathan-era stuff was quite nice, but the poppy stuff since has been beyond weak.
As far as standouts go, I look right at Giants, which is probably the most progressive song on the albums. The riffs are neverending and the growling vocals come in at just the right point each time. It is a near eight minute feast of groove and riffs that pretty much sums up the band succinctly.
This is a must-add to your collection for fans of Opeth. I am very excited to see what else is going to be coming out of Anciients in the coming years.