Ancst - Ghosts Of The Timeless Void - (9.5/10)
Published on April 21, 2018
Formed in 2011 (Originally as Angst), the German Ancst is really quite prolific. Despite having only two full-lengths to their name, the band has a slew of splits and EP’s under their belt, and been very consistent in releasing new material. 2016 saw the band release their debut full-length, Moloch, and coming two years later is the new beast, Ghosts Of The Timeless Void. This German quintet is blasting away over the course of near 42 minutes and creating some of the best black metal/crust of the year, and one of the better albums I’ve personally heard since last year’s new Integrity.
From the opening gate, Ancst don’t play around. “Dying Embers’ acts as the best possible opening track, giving you exactly what you want and what the band does best. The razor-sharp guitar riffs pummel through 4 minutes while the drums blast away and fill your head with groove and sheer intensity. Let me point out here that on each listen, but especially the first, I had a smile from ear to ear due to the drum tone. It was just so goddamn in your face and mixed perfectly that there were a few chuckles of near disbelief at how great they sounded. Much kudos to the band and producer on capturing the drums so damn well.
The rest of the band is not outdone by any means, going back to the guitar work, each track features some great riffs that can get stuck in your head, but also pierce you so much with their tone and impact. The higher tone of the guitar is a wonderful accent and companion to the deeper bark of the vocals. Like a lot of crust bands, there may not be much in the way of variation to the vocal delivery, sticking to the hardcore style bark for the entirety of the album, but the variations in the music actually work to the vocals’ advantage. As the guitars and drums change pace and go from one fill or riff to another, the vocals begin to take on a different form, sounding different despite not changing. It is a great accomplishment and goes to show how well crafted these tracks are.
These tracks also work in a way that allow for some tension to build over a few songs, before reaching a climax and a break later on. The slower section in “Revelation of Deformity” give the listener some breathing room after the last three songs assault you, and the end of the final track feel like catharsis. Ancst does a great job building you up to a point of almost not being able to take anymore, and throwing in just enough of a curve ball to give you a break and start fresh all again.
As far as black metal/crust albums go, Ancst if very high on the list after this newest collection of songs. While I admit my knowledge of German bands is not quite up to snuff compared to other countries, between bands like Ancst and Heaven Shall Burn, there is something to be said for balls to the wall metal with a political/societal focus. These bands tend to release album after album of great music, and even if things don’t always evolve from one piece to the next, there’s no denying the sheer intensity and awesomeness they provide. Ghosts of the Timeless Void is a wonderfully crafted, expertly produced and just well thought out package, and stands as quite possibly the best I’ve heard this year. Saying this album has been a go to for me is an understatement, as this album has been a stand-by and almost nothing has unseated it in the metal world. Fans of the faster, and more metallic side of crust should check this out A.S.A.P and never look back.