Ancient VVisdom - Deathlike
Prosthetic Records
Folk Rock
12 songs (39:22)
Release year: 2013
Prosthetic Records
Reviewed by Koeppe

Ancient VVisdom are a band that strikes me somewhat as an anomaly, being a slow-paced rock band formed by several members of the metallic hardcore band Integrity. Distilling that past aggression into an atmospheric rock band that conjures up comparisons more to Johnny Cash than to Black Flag should simply not work as well as this album does. Acoustic guitars, minimal drumming, and slow crooning have supplanted the traditional sounds of hardcore punk whilst not losing its pension to build up an energy and affect that captivates the listener.

Extensive description of the tracks is unnecessary insofar as their simplicity makes them easily digestible and instantly memorable; after only a few plays the infectious grooves will be constantly on your mind. As a folk/acoustic/rock album, the acoustic riffs are the driving force of the album, supplemented by electric guitars. Nathan Opposition's vocals aren’t going to win any awards, but the harmonies are catchy. The authentic, haunting sound of his vocals endears them instantly to your ears. The drums remain distant and minimal throughout the album except on the occasions in which the band strives to make a truly marching beat and the kick drum conjures up an energy that is reminiscent of the hardcore these guys cut their teeth on. And how could you not be interested in hearing The Last Man on Earth, a track that blends seamlessly the desert twang of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus with the doomed pace of Danzig and Johnny Cash’s Thirteen.

The album’s narrow-minded focus on death, every track refers to death, life after death, or death and the grave, would wear thin, if not for the simple melodies that make this album truly magnificent. The subject matter might be bleak, but with tracks like I Am Rebirth, the album is cheerful and positive in a way that extreme metal has difficulty providing. This album’s stark contrast to much of the extreme metal that I consume makes it a welcome supplement to the daily playlists in a way similar to Opeth’s Damnation was able to lighten the load for my ears all these years.

I strongly suggest that everyone give the album a chance, insofar as it fills a niche that metal simply doesn’t have much of, that is, solid catchy folk jams. It took me a few attempts to get over the cheesiness, but even before I came to love the album, I already knew all of the lyrics and could hum all of the melodies. Give it a free spin on their Bandcamp when you get a chance.

Killing Songs :
Deathlike, Far Beyond Good & Evil, I Am Rebirth, Never Live Again, Let the End Begin
Koeppe quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Ancient VVisdom that we have reviewed:
Ancient VVisdom - Sacrificial reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
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