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Ancst - In Turmoil

by Andrew Sifari at 21 November 2014, 11:46 AM

ANCST are a band from Berlin, Germany, formed in 2011 in 2011 by members of the bands AFTERLIFE KIDS and HENRY FONDA. Hardcore elements and melody collide with a raw Black Metal sound on this visceral offering, a collection of hard to find / out of print material from the band’s early, cassette-only works.

While having great artwork certainly is nice for drawing listeners in, it’s hard to understate the benefit of having art that goes hand-in-hand with the aesthetic of the album’s actual music. In some cases, what one expects from, and thinks about, the music is shaped by their first glance. In the case of “In Turmoil,” the artwork is an outstanding visualization of the music, supporting the album’s tumultuous yet epic atmosphere.

The band’s sound is very much based in Black Metal, but with an approach different from the standard fire and brimstone that is typical of the genre. The instruments are played with ferocious intensity (and plenty of blastbeats), but there are plenty of moments devoted to slower, more subdued passages that give some depth and scope to their sound than simply thrashing aimlessly for 40+ minutes. This approach is embodied on “Entropie,” with its blistering metallic assault and somewhat soothing atmospheric interlude that contrast starkly and yet mix quite well. In much the same way that the heavier sections differ from their softer counterparts, Torsten’s hoarse roars provide a harsh, yet appropriate counterpoint to the more melodically-inclined riffing throughout the album, an unsettling yet gripping combination.

Crushing offerings like “Circles,” “Patterns & Dreamers,” “Seasons of Separation,” and “Herzeberge” are great examples of this, with all of the melody and sonic brutality that Black Metal is known for, with strong hooks and uncompromising musicianship. The thunderous drums are particularly noteworthy, and I have to say, if this album was given a standard (read: terrible) Black Metal recording job, the finer points of the music, particularly the melodic nuances, would be diminished greatly. Thankfully, the production here is very solid, and it does the music the justice it deserves.

The only real downside to “In Turmoil” is that it has a very specific and consistent approach throughout, and can start to feel a bit same-sy after the seventh or eighth song. Nevertheless, fans of aggressive, yet mature Black Metal with atmospheric elements should find this release plenty enjoyable.

4 Star Rating

1. Ascetic
2. Entropie
3. Circles
4. The Faceless
5. Patterns & Dreamers
6. Seasons of Separation
7. Herzberge
8. Conditio Humana
9. Shallow
10. Frailty
11. Howl
12. Another Dead End’s Anthem
13. Peripheral
Stefan - Bass
Tom – Guitar, Drums
Torsten - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 01 April 2023

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