Ancient Lights by Ancient LightsRelease date: July 6, 2018
Label: Ritual Productions
There are a lot of ‘post’ prefixed genres about nowadays, post-rock, post-metal, and post-hardcore to name but a few. Ancient Lights fuse elements of post-metal, drone, and Gregorian chants to create, what I like to call, “post-druid”, to add to the confusing morass of sub-genres.
Ancient Lights eponymous album is the perfect backdrop to a Saturday night ritual with friends who have a penchant for hooded robes.
The music itself is executed well. Ancient Lights’ sound is awash in an ethereal reverb. The band play with dynamics very well, reinforcing the ritualistic aspect of the music. The guitars and bass display a lot of restraint as each song builds. Even at their crescendo, with guitars wailing out their best 60’s psychedelia, the songs always feel in control, there is no feeling that the song might derail into chaos at any moment. The main reason for this, I believe, is Adam Richardson’s commanding vocals, which never break from long sustained chants.
There is enough variety in the songs to keep the listener intrigued throughout the mammoth 70-minute journey that Ancient Lights takes them on. Some songs have a full-on doom metal backing, whilst others have more mellow musical backing. The album is akin to a heavier version of Earth’s masterpiece The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, with vocals reminiscent of the late Peter Steele, in Type O Negative’s more Gregorian/Gothic moments.
The main, musical, thematic link in this album is, the album’s insistence on hypnotic grooves. Even at its most fuzzed out and heavy, this album is relaxing. No track is meant to stand out, they are all intertwined steps on a journey.