Ancient VVisdom – Deathlike (Prosthetic Records)

Sunday, 14th April 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

Sonically low-key but thematically heavy purveyors Ancient VVisdom are a peculiar bunch. With a sound awash in vocal melodies, acoustic guitar, unorthodox percussion, and inoffensively distorted guitar, they’re not quite like anyone else currently floating around, for better or worse. More refined than their debut A Godlike Inferno, Deathlike  sees the band continuing its world of darkened and brooding mixes of texture and songcraft.

A notable improvement comes in the voice of mainman and group centerpiece Nathan Opposition, whose voice blankets almost every aspect of Deathlike. Whether on the fantastically dreamy “Deathlike” (a legit standout) or the more intense “Far Beyond Good And Evil,” Opposition’s fantastic voice is the glue that holds this work together. Atmosphere and texture is absolutely all over the map, be it the numerous country influences that run rampant throughout, the blues-by-way-of-hell feel of “Last Man On Earth,” or the surprisingly upbeat “Rebirth”. To be so thematically tied, the songs here represent a great deal of surprising variety.

It’s in the closer “Here is the Grave” (though it’s honestly true throughout) that vibes reminiscent of edges of classic Acid Bath at their melodic and melancholic peak echo out and do their utmost to bury the listener. Aside from the ongoing work of Dax Riggs, however, there is lovingly very little to compare Ancient VVisdom to that would do them any justice. No, this haunting foray is best experienced on its own terms, for once it sinks into you it’s unlikely to let go.

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