Ancient VVisdom – Sacrificial (Magic Bullet)

Thursday, 4th December 2014
Rating: 8/10

Found these Cleveland/Austin gents to be real players in the occult rock/metal scene; a chip off the forward-looking/sideways-leaning block thanks to all of the percussive elements in their cadre. But for whatever reason, Ancient VVisdom hasn’t fully taken off, having split with Prosthetic Records after the release of two quite good albums (2012’s A Godlike Inferno and last year’s Deathlike) and now paying dues on emerging indie Magic Bullet. The first happening from this partnership is Sacrificial, an album that eases up on the aforementioned percussion go-rounds in favor of a simple, dark rock sound that could be grunge if you’re not looking at it the right way.

An album based upon frontman/main dude Nathan Opposition’s period of enlightenment after exploring humanity’s universal darkness, Sacrificial benefits largely from the man’s croon. His un-beefy, occasionally airy vocals work in tandem with the band’s intelligent, well-written jams that in essence, present Satanism in a positive light, which for some, is simply unimaginable. With Ancient VVisdom, such things don’t feel contrived or false, which is why cuts like “Chaos Will Reign,” “Blind Leading the Blind” and the excellent “We Are Damnation” are not only dark and provocative, but have a sing-song-y feel to them.

Indeed these songs are simply, with nary a challenging distorted guitar riff in sight. Yet when buttressed by chilling acoustic guitar work and the proper usage of space, there’s a lot to work with on Sacrificial. Additional cuts of note include the straightforward “Worm Ridden Skull,” the drab and dire “City of Stone” (good stuff when Opposition harmonizes himself) and the brief, yet climatic closing run of “Higher into the Black Flames,” which again, is naturally straightforward, but awfully effective. A good chunk of this album operates in such a fashion…another reason not to sleep on Ancient VVisdom just yet.

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