ADAA 15/02/17 (Anciients, Whitehorse, Upyr)

I woke up today in a surprisingly good mood and even more surprisingly I’m still in it. It was a calm day at work so I kick-started the day with Khemmis’s “Hunted”, one of my favourite albums of last year. After that I decided to use similar-artist.com to see what will come up there if I search for Khemmis. That’s how the next album came to me.

Anciients — Heart of Oak
year: 2013; genre: progressive metal;
country: Canada; active: yes;
listen@: bandcamp;
links: bandcamp; facebook;

Anciients combine at least two things I really like — progressive metal and Canada. They don’t have much similarity to Khemmis, but more to old-school Opeth and Mastodon. Intricate riffs, harsh and clean vocals, acoustic parts, odd time signatures, long tracks, you name it. Definitely a band that I’ll get into soon since they have another long length album from last year. I totally recommend this to everyone interested in the aforementioned bands.

Whitehorse/Upyr — Split
year: 2017; genre: doom metal;
country: Australia/Bulgaria; active: yes;
listen@: bandcamp;
links (Upyr): bandcamp; facebook;
links (Whitehorse): web; bandcamp; facebook;

Announced in 2013 this split is something that’s been long coming. Upyr are one of my favourite bands from my country so everything new is exciting for me. Unfortunately I wasn’t at their concert with Whitehorse back then and haven’t remembered to take a listen to the Australians. The LP is composed of 3 tracks — one from Whitehorse with a length of over 18 minutes and two from Upyr with combined length of about 21 minutes.

Whitehorse’s track is an atmospheric doom/drone metal track. Slow walls of guitar sound, indistinguishable harsh vocals and lots of reverb. At some point there are some violins. I can say that I’m intrigued with their sound and I’ll check them out finally at some point.

On the other hand Upyr provide a more consistent and riff-focused tracks. I’ve heard both of them live numerous times in the past few years and I dare to say that, being recorded live in studio, the sound is very close to what you would expect at a gig. The music, as I said, is filled with a lot of mid-tempo riffs reminiscent of sludge/doom bands such as Conan. Also there’s a black metal part that I clearly remember when I heard for the first time live — it was amazing and still is. There are some typical for Upyr slow parts and scream vocals. The thing that stands out the most for me are the clean vocals. More “classic doom” if I might say so, layered and recorded flawlessly.

All in all I’ll spin that split daily, especially Upyr’s tracks which stand out to me a bit more and I look forward to more records for them.

That’s it for today, I’m glad that the review of the split is closely to a review and not just random sentences. Anyway, that’s all for today, we’re past the middle of the week now so the weekend self-destruction is imminent.

Cheers!