Published Aug 21, 2018Post-metal unit Ancestors have been relatively quiet for the past half-decade, and slimmed down their lineup in that time, but their latest record, Suspended In Reflections, shows they're better than ever. The band carefully craft thick, ethereal soundscapes with a heavy-handed yet calm approach using a wide range of instruments.
Intro "Gone" has an almost dreamlike calm to it, bringing a dense yet melancholic sound to the table. The track drones on a thick riff that gradually builds until its climax shifts the song into jazzy territory. "Through a Window" seamlessly shifts the band into an airy passage that builds into a bright wall of sound before slowly fading out again.
The band's use of piano throughout sets a heavy tone without blasting the listener with a wall of distortion, perfectly displayed on "Lying in the Grass." Unlike most metal bands, Ancestors are capable of creating a sense of doom and despair through piano and organs, using guitars as a melodic accent to boost their sound. The band deliver swirling, effects-heavy distortion on closing track "The Warm Glow."
Like most doom and post-metal albums, Suspended In Reflections works much better as a piece from beginning to end, instead of picking and choosing tracks. Nonetheless, the record is a great show of how to create heavy music without using the standard tropes commonly found in metal. (Pelagic Records)