Ancestors | ‘In Dreams and Time’
Yep, it’s another band-name consisting of a plural of some randomly generated noun.
But let’s look on the plus side. The artwork (somewhat cramped here) looks like a scene from a psychotropic 80′s daytime soap.
The schtick of the image seems to suggest a group looking back through Floydian eras from modern perspective – and as such it’s not too difficult to imagine what the band might sound like.
For all that, California’s Ancestors are pretty enjoyable on this, their third album.
The collective have been around for a while now. They never have quite made a huge impact, in the sky-gazing, post ISIS scene that they generally inhabit. Their style can generally be described as your standard issue sludgy post-metal, but replete with some impressive organ work.
Yet they’re trucked on. This latest release has more of a polished impact on first listens than anything they’ve previously put out.
Opener ‘Whispers’ exhibits a use of great restraint, with a swinging, chanted chorus gets things off to a bright start.
It’s slow and steady stuff. Things progress at what’s best described as a natural speed. There’s slow, tasty riffing – building around a mesh of hammond sounds that lurk on the edge of the sound, only driving to the fore for the really stomping moments.
What’s interesting about ‘In Dreams and Time’ is how it really does take it’s time.
It lacks a vibrancy and frantic speed that’s often present in groups that venture into the instrumental flailing of organ territory. In fact, it’s a remarkably grounded listen, happy to construct and glow with a strong chorus here and there, with the great production holding everything up.
The punch, soft as it is, of ‘Corryvrekan’ is as heavy as things get. There’s a hint of screamed backing vocals here, that remind of the nuts and bolts of what the group’s mechanics consist of.
It’s really the final track where Ancestors spread their wings.
A vocal passage of real, subdued quality backs up a sublime riff. The echoing refrain of vocals sound both accusing and totally at peace, and here’s where the group exhibit the best representation of their craft.
Diving into an immersive psychedelic section before emerging once again with that great guitar refrain, they work the gauntlet well. There’s an array of emotions, and the real feeling that they’ve finally hit top gear.
It’s a bit of a shame for this to herald the end of the album, but they have at least ended on a high.
It can only be described as a successful record for the group. Capable of taking you away, it doesn’t overstep itself, and can quietly boast of some proper songcrafting.
The more anonymous aspects of the vocals and much of the guitar simply have to be worked through to get to the good stuff. It’s a shame the group have very average aspects to their sound, but it simply has to be accepted.
They won’t be winning any prizes for originality in their field. Yet as the ‘Panopticon’ indebted refrains sweep by, it’s hard not to simply let it roll and enjoy the palate they use.
3.2 / 5 – Lorcan Archer ::: 15/05/12