Ancestors – Suspended in Reflections (Review)

AncestorsAncestors are a progressive doom band from the US and this is their fourth album.

Ancestors’ music has a base of traditional doom metal, which they then build on with progressive, psychedelic, stoner, and post-rock elements.

Numbering six tracks spread across 36 minutes of music, the latest release by Ancestors is their most condensed and focused yet. Gone are the sprawling, monolithic epics, while in their place are songs that take some of the strongest aspects of their style and channel them into the relatively brief hits of highly emotive material that we get on Suspended in Reflections.

This is music that’s all about the emotion. Slow, thoughtful music that’s riven with affecting melodies and strong songwriting is the order of business here. These songs are wonderfully atmospheric and deeply affecting, displaying colourful and vibrant ways to evoke various feelings in the listener. Much of the music is downcast and melancholic, as befits its doom metal heritage, but there is also hope and light here, with some of the progressive flourishes being very uplifting.

Rich and resplendent, some of the melodies on this album are so warm and welcoming that it’s like being wrapped up in sunlight. Others are darker, more despondent, but no less effective because of this. A church organ is used to add further layers to the music too, working extremely well with everything else here.

Ancestors manage to effectively combine the heaviness of a metallic base with the depth and lighter touch of progressive and post-rock absurdly well. If you think of Suspended in Reflections as a cross between Yob, Anathema, and Sigur Rós you wouldn’t be too far off base.

A beautiful and compelling album.

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