Album Type: EP
Date Released: July 15th 2014
Label: Midnite Collective
Ancient Altar – S/T - track listing:
2.Ek Balam 08:49
4.Pulled Out 08:03
Hailing from Los Angeles, the land of the unrelenting sun, Ancient Altar bring an arcane philosophy and a stripped down approach to their bristling and brutal brand of heavy rock. Formed in late 2013, the band features bassist Scott Carlson and guitar player Barry Kavener splitting vocal duties, along with guitar player Jesse Boldt and drummer Tom Oz, who together have birthed a slow burning doom/sludge combo.
Ancient Altar's début release is an heavy mix of Sludge, Doom, Hard Rock, Stoner Metal all held together with a thick crusted Post-Metal groove to awaken your senses to. It may only last 27 mins or so but it more than makes it up with some heavy as fuck pounding gigantic riffs to crush your senses to.
Opening track – Tidal – comes on like an out of control tidal wave with Ancient Altar showing their intent to the world. A hazy screeching noise effect comes in with the dual vocals of pitch black death based shrieks and a Scott Kelly inspired voice over gives this track extra weight in the creepy steaks. Ancient Altar don't fuck about with moods. They are bleak and desolate through out this EP. Ancient Altar even add touches of Blues Rock here and there to give their overall sound a rough as hell exterior.
2nd track – Ek Balam – one of two epic 8 minute tracks is where the band show their true potential. As they slowly build the atmosphere with creaking Post-Metal vibes before adding different noises as time slowly passes by. Ancient Altar bring their self imposed Stripped Back approach to the forefront and it's one gloomy dark experience which is more Doomgaze than Shoegaze. The instrumental work is intense as it slowly takes over your sub-conscience before unleashing a torrent of violent noises that will leave you an emotional wreck!!!
3rd track – Final – is a more straight forward Crust/Sludge/Hard Rock/Stoner Metal song that feels it was transported from the 70s and given a modern day makeover. Especially with the vocals as it has a sinister feel to them. Ever wondered what Death Metal growls would sound like if it was matched with 70s Hard Rock. Then here is the answer folks. One of the albums stand-out tracks. If you're into Church Of Misery then this song will speak volumes to you.
Last but by no means least is the sublime 8 minute epic – Pulled Out. Slow-paced guitar riffs start this nightmarish journey before the band lay down some of the heaviest riffs on the EP for you to consume your troubled soul with. A thrilling end to an brilliant release.
Ancient Altar are being tipped for great things and on this form who are we to argue. Ancient Altar are on the verge of greatness. These guys will be one of the most talked about bands in the years to come. Watch these guys soar!!!
Thanks to Cat Jones at Southern Cross PR and Ancient Altar for sending me a promo to review.
Ancient Altar – S/T – is now available to buy from Midnite Collective now.
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Written by Steve Howe