Thursday, February 28, 2013
ANCIENT SHORES x CYNARAE
The next couple tracks ("Forget The Sinking Ships" and "Unapologetically") shows the band speed back up and pummel the listener. The vocals, especially on "Forget The Sinking Ships", sound utterly desperate and full of frustration. Combined with the frantic paced guitar playing, there's a level of chaos that it is very refreshing. Something that really stands out on this side of the split is how ANCIENT SHORES knows how to maintain energy. They know how to build up tension very well.
"Not On The Ground" - which is probably my favorite track on the split - shows the band play with noise, crafting it into an instrument for their own purposes. The screams that follow are beyond ominous (And certainly give Orion of ILSA a run for his money) and blood chilling. I also like the fact that the vocals aren't guttural or too harsh. For the most part the words are easily heard, which gives the track a much more interesting dynamic. Clocking in at four-minutes long, "Not On The Ground" has a varied sound that never grows repetitious.
Closing out ANCIENT SHORES' side of the split is "Destroyer" which sees the band reincorporate that rock n' roll swagger from the opening track. The only thing I wish on this track is that it was longer.
On the opposite side is Seattle's CYNARAE, who have a much more dense sound than ANCIENT SHORES. Admittedly I couldn't get into their self-titled record, but found their contributions here much better. "Bereft" attacks the listener without warning, pummeling them with brain-crushingly savage drumming and riffs. Following up is "Suicide Seeds" which despite its heaviness, contains an underlying groove a la SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP. Whilst the other side benefited from cleaner vocals, the deep and gruff style that CYNARAE uses adds in a level of anger and vitriol.
The track that really stands out to me on this side was "An Elegy." As the song progresses there's an interesting Scandi/Japanese crusty d-beat vibe that gels well with their more metalcore (In the vein of Unruh, Enewetak, and Morser) leanings. The ending however brings the mood down with a somber and mournful passage.
Continuing with that tone, CYNARAE's closer "Attrition" continues that melancholy drenched sound. Soft whispers replace the usual caustic shouts as the track builds and builds. The drums enter the picture and just when you think everything is going to unravel into a chaotic whirlwind, that moment never comes. There certainly is a transition into a much heavier sound, but that transition is gradual not sudden. However, I found that "Attrition" started losing steam and wasn't as engaging as the rest of their material.
Each band shows a definite progress in their sound from their previous records, especially in the case of ANCIENT SHORES. I'm really looking forward to their split with Mourner to see where they go with their sound. Whilst CYNARAE didn't blow me away on this recording, I did enjoy them in a live setting. Their music had a much more urgent and vicious sound that just didn't translate on the split (Except for perhaps "Suicide Seeds").
Like all A389 releases, this is available on the label's bandcamp page in both stream and digital form. If you want a hard copy, this is still up in the web-store.