Ancient Hostility – Ancient Hostility

3 min read

Band: Ancient Hostility
Title: Ancient Hostility
Label:  Akashic Envoy Records
Release date: 7 June, 2019
Country: USA/Ukraine
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Promo

It’s easy to state things such as that war has been around human kind ever since the dawn of its existence. It’s fueled by jealousy, greed, desire for power. It drives those in charge to sacrifice without thinking twice the lives of others who do their bidding. But is that really what humanity has evolved to? Are we doomed to have that part of human nature linger around until the end of time? The American/Ukrainian duo of ANCIENT HOSTILITY seems to believe so. Having released their debut self-titled album on the 7th of June, they have presented upon us work so eerie, so dark, and so provoking that I for one did indeed start to wonder if this was really the path humanity is bound to follow forever.

The female American vocalist Imber and Ukrainian multi-instrumentalist SadVoice collaborate here together for the first time, and it seems as if they have a certain clear view of what their work is supposed to represent. Describing the band name, Imber speaks about the hate humans have always had for each other, how they have treated each other and killed, and that it is indeed a part of human nature, and I won’t say that it hasn’t been achieved to describe exactly that, but also to provoke a certain thought in the listeners mind about the matter.

The ghostly, far-away vocals presented in the introduction track “Disavowed” follows all the way through the album. The vocals alone do not particularly add another level to the ambient, melodic atmospheric nature of the album but it isn’t unpleasant. Scary or demonic is not the description here for there is somewhat a positive tone in the work. Anxious and distressing is more in the ballpark of description and that fact that the music isn’t built on the traditional verses and choruses formula only adds to that anxious feeling.

“Conjured Odium” makes it clear how the sense of pain is very much present instead of the usual Satan-stuff that has gotten such a strong foothold in black metal these days. What is presented here are real world problems, which becomes even more real as “Enmity” rolls around. A riff sounding like a beast in agony in the background with an acoustic guitar for a short while creates something beautiful in a painful way, as if the beauty that was created is dying.

Speaking of dying. “World of Decay” apparently revolves around the earth we live on, how the soil we walk on is made of the remains of the ones who lived before us, and how we will join them soon. Our earth is out grave, and the lingering dystopia is ever present that may not be everyone’s taste, but for those who take the time to listen to it, I am sure there are more layers to be discovered

To dig into the very emotional, dark and saddest core of the listener may perhaps not be the purpose of this album; however I believe that listening to it will make even the happiest of people find reasons to stop smiling. Humanity is corrupt, greedy and mean in itself and the message surely has come across and for that I must give the duo some points. For the fans of atmospheric, dark, doomy black-metal I am sure that this album is a gem, however for the rest of us, it is fine to take on what it is but you will surely feel fulfilled with far less than this album offers. 6.5/10 Julia


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