Ancient VVisdom Deathlike

Ancient VVisdomDeathlike
When describing heavy metal as "southern," it's easy to picture swampy, distorted sludge, sweat-drenched riffing and angry mosquito tones layered over jack-and-coke vocals. Ancient VVisdom create an entirely different dynamic, with haunting banjo and acoustic guitar, the grave formality of a stand-up bass and a much more organic approach to percussion, with a machete and bamboo. The result is an almost ghostly sound made even more pronounced by the production, especially the thin, tremulous distortion of the vocals. "Never Live Again" drips with a trembling, palpable regret that soaks right through to the stomping rhythm on the choruses, and the titular track aches as it goes, unspooling as though it were evaporating into smoke (or ectoplasm). Even the slightly more optimistic "Rebirth," with its handclap percussion and surging pace, is concerned far more with the spiritual than the physical. Deathlike is a slightly misleading title, as the conceptual centre is in fact what may transcend the mortal plane, if anything exists between the flesh and the idea. It's easy to imagine Deathlike being written and performed by talented, fretful ghosts. (Prosthetic)