Ever wondered what it would sound like if Mastodon and Enslaved got together and released an album? Well wonder no longer, as it would probably sound like Heart of Oak. Imagine a 50/50 collaboration between both of those bands – the melodies, both vocally and musically displayed here are reminiscent of both groups and are hugely enjoyable.
This is not to say that Anciients are a rip-of band of course – far from it – the Mastodon/Enslaved comparison simply serves as a useful starting point when describing Anciients and they certainly have their own individuality and flair – more so than most bands. Amazingly this is only a debut album – a release of this calibre is usually not heard of on a first full-length and is as refreshing as it is enjoyable.
The songs on display here are arguably simpler/less complex than a lot of Mastodon/Enslaved songs, (to use these bands as a reference point again), but this is not to their detriment, as this album is all about the melodies and the song structures. This is probably one of the catchiest metal albums you’ll hear all year, and yet it still manages to retain its edge that will allow it to age well and not become tired as some melody-driven albums can become after time.
An album that is as long as it is good. Worth it.