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Not a convincing from either of them ... - 54%

oneyoudontknow, May 1st, 2011

Not a convincing performance

Like on the Avowal release, the focus of «Ancestral» lies on the creation of some sort of depressive black metal. Very minimalist in its approach and very repetitive in its style, such is the art with which the listener be 'pleased'. There are shrieks and screams when it comes to the expression of the lyrics and they try to add to the music some sort of bleak atmosphere. The instruments have only little power, especially the drums have a horribly raw sound, and a balancing of the elements does simply not exist; the vocals are too much in the foreground, as well as the snare, while the guitars linger somewhere in the back of it all and are create some sort of 'dense wall'.

Sixteen minutes, nearly equally divided on two songs, is the share of Ancestral on this split and the songs offer hardly any variety in terms, structure, ideas and the sort. It seems like if one idea that had been used when it comes to composing of these songs and the difference between them is minuscule. Actually, in case you are tired, you can very well use this to fall asleep. This is too minimalist, there is too little momentum and there are too few neat ideas to make this a good release. Fans of this particular style of black metal will like it still and this review will certainly not change their minds.

Neat but inconsistent ... and flawed

One aspect do both bands have in common and that is the reliance on some kind of depressive atmosphere. The actual 'coming into flesh' they differs though, as each artist tries it in a different approach. «Wedard's» music is slightly more complex than those of «Ancestral» and the three tracks clearly differ from each other and shed light on more than one facet; when it comes to composing this kind of music. Yet, there is still this repetitive style, this minimalism and also these screams/shrieks; perhaps there is some kind of whispering on «The last journey to Heaven», but as it appears so muted, it is rather guesswork if there is really something or not.

The odd thing about the music of Wedard is the unnecessarily limitation in terms of complexity. What is the purpose of programming the drum-computer in such a fashion as on the aforementioned track? It might work a minute, maybe even two but certainly not eight. By listening to it you really beg for the end to come. This is a problem one-man bands face in general, but such flaws can be avoided when the band has gained some experience due to the release of several albums and used this then to improve the band's art. In terms of the vocals it can be noted that they appear quite bloodless; especially on «Leidenschaft (re-mastered)». These are just two aspects that have been shed light on and many more would have been possible.

Final bits and bytes
Whether someone likes this piece of art depends very much on the preference of the person that is listening to it. Judging from the scores «Ancestral» receives at the Metal Archives on a general basis, from the current point this review is written at, there seems to be a fellowship whose thirst for such a music that this American band is able to quench in a very proper way. Would it therefore be appropriate to recommend this split to the by far larger circle of non-Ancestral metalheads then; in apars pro toto sensu?

Hardly. From my perspective the current praise for this band is unjustified. Not that Ancestral performance is an entire failure, but when looking at the concept and its coming into flesh, then one should point to the short-comings of this band, too; instead of praising it to heights that create a wide gap between reality and its meta counterpart. Si libet, licet, like the Romans tend to say, is, in respect to the reviews and the opinion of the writers, certainly a facet of some importance, yet the more the scale tends to drift in one 'extreme' region or another, the more a false impression is created and the basis for a fair and just judgement is not given anymore. Nothing is gained by bashing or praising a band for the mere purpose of doing so and accordingly I will not do such a thing here. Both bands are of such a kind to not fascinate me, but I have not problems in actual listening to them or to 'enjoy' their music in some respect.

Some words on Wedard. It is always astounding to see how low the quality of records can be, even though the band has released a good amount of albums over the years. Despite some nice ideas now and then, the flaws in the concept of Wedard are such graven that it is challenging to enjoy their music thoroughly. The three songs on this split album are as such as to bore the listener with the repetition of the motives etc.; despite the variation in the compositions. The ideas are present on their share of the split, but they sit around and wait for someone to unleash their potential.

The Ancestral / Wedard split is not bad, but certainly not something I could wholeheartedly recommend to the majority of black metal fans.