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Looks Like the Album Cover Feels - 75%

Thumbman, December 3rd, 2019

Man, I really feel like I'd get a lot more out of this if I heard it before I heard In Death. That EP put forward such an uncompromising vision of disorienting violence, that it's hard not to compare this to it. The way every riff was able to leapfrog over the next really allowed it to become more than the sum of its parts. Before this turns into a second go at a review on In Death, I'll just say that the aptly titled III is really good. It's raw as hell and mixes black metal and hardcore in a delightfully brutish way.

III is an uncompromising marriage of savagery and disorientation; a smorgasbord of aggressive and unsettling riffs. They feel like a particularly angry hardcore band that decided to slap raw tremolo over the top. In this way they remind me of Night Hag. The drums are a cacophony of standoffish hardcore beats and rickety double bass madness. For something so hellbent at assaulting the listener with an endless stream of violence, there's a lot of variety and play. There's a lot of hardcore outbursts, more standard raw tremolo riffs and a lot in between. Near the end of the album, we get more and more fast skronky tremolo runs, which create quite the disquieting atmosphere and almost a strangely psychedelic vibe (it goes without saying that it's a bad trip).

The rawness works for Ancestors and it doesn't. It works in that it allows the aggressive riffs to really bludgeon the listener and creates a feeling of instability. I hate to keep bringing up In Death, but it helps illustrate where the rawness doesn't work as well here. While the production of In Death is still fairly raw in the broader context of metal, having higher production values than III is a big part of why it's the better release. The production allows the swirling violence of the leapfrogging riffs congeal into a hellishly psychedelic atmosphere that becomes one of the EP's biggest draws. Some parts of this album achieve that to a lesser extent, but it's not this big thing that's hanging over the entire album.

Comparisons aside, III is a really strong debut album and does an excellent job at mixing raw black metal and incendiary hardcore. The release succeeds in embodying violence and can also be quite disorienting. III is a really fun ride, if not a deranged one.