30 Nov 2016

Ancst: "The Humane Condition"


Exceptionally well-crafted but for a few missteps
Ancst are exceptionally productive, having produced several releases every year since their creation in 2012. More often than not this is an indicator of the shallowness of a group's efforts, where quantity weighs heavier than quality, and productivity holds a seat above creativity and originality. A shame it is that this goes especially for black metal bands.

Though they with their early EP The Humane Condition seem to take a turn for the bleak atmospherics that are so trendy as of 2010 and forward, Ancst narrowly steer clear of the bulk of these usual clich├ęs. Torsten's tempestuous vocal techniques are excedingly crude, striking up a resemblance to shouted hardcore vocals. Though his voice is mostly kept in the background, they provide a rough perspective over the formidable threads of guitar laid down by the band's second member, Tom.

"From an outside view Ancst is offensively ordinary,"

Ascetic and Entropie - the two tracks on the EP - at first glance are so immaculate in their execution that they come off as aimless attempts at a modern trend, only to reveal their true nature through repeated listening. From an outside view Ancst is offensively ordinary, but once you get inside their oppressive confines you can notice that the halls are plastered with immense detail, their immensely well-crafted riffing forming the absolute centerpiece of an unnerving exhibition.

Writing, recording and releasing just a few songs at a time seems to be the band's primary way of operating, and it works to their advantage to create a short medium to exhibit their works. What draws from the focal point, the riffs, is the noisy attendance of another unwelcome guest - programmed drums. Like Torsten's screams, they feel like they don't belong, trying to pierce the misty veil of atmosphere in vain. The instrumentation is put together in such a way that it diverts attention from any shortcomings, but when one gets under the skin of the band in the way that is necessary to enjoy their compositions, these small things become noticable in the worst way possible. But even so, The Humane Condition remains a well above average offering, in no small part due to the clever riffing.

7/10


Released in 2013 independently

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