Picks: Ancst, Conjurer, Vile Creature

We often try to build some variety into our weekly recommendations. A little hardcore here, a little death metal there. A smattering of post-punk followed by thrash metal followed by pop-punk, perhaps? Not this week. Horns up!

Ancst
Ghosts Of The Timeless Void
Lifeforce Records
[Spotify]

Berlin’s Ancst caught our ear with their 2016 debut, Moloch. They’ve grabbed us by the throat with its follow-up. Ghosts Of The Timeless Void is an exercise in breathless blackened crust. The songs are punchy and relatively short but the ideas are huge. The dynamic between frantic fury, toe-tapping groove and tense atmosphere is terrific, meaning that every song here stands on its own two feet and serves as a complete statement of what the album is about. Put it together, though, and chuck out ‘Shackles Of Decency’ followed by ‘Concrete Veins’ followed by ‘Revelation Of Deformity’ followed by ‘Unmasking The Imposters’, and you’re really on to something.

Conjurer
Mire
Holy Roar Records
[Spotify]

We like it heavy and we don’t have to go far to find it. With a fair wind we can hear Conjurer in our Rugby air. So it’s with a degree of local excitement that Mire, their highly anticipated debut album, is every bit the fulfillment of the promise of their EP and piles yet more promise on top. Conjurer’s pulsing, sludgy doom is the perfectly crafted sound of British metal in 2018: slow and threatening, pensive and gloomy, and packed to the gills with riffs you need in your life. ‘Hollow’ is a triumph, ‘Thankless’ an irresistible epic and the title track a note-perfect representation of what heavy British music means today. A killer debut.

Vile Creature
Cast Of Static & Smoke
Self-released
[Spotify]

Vile Creature’s last EP has, hilariously, the only 1% review I’ve ever seen, even on notoriously wanker-riddled metal websites. But Cast Of Static & Smoke seems to have arrived on a small and subtle, but definite, wave of anticipation. Charged by queer and trans rights activism, the Ontario two-piece’s second album is spiteful and aggressive and bloody exciting. Its four long tracks of vituperative, snarling doom have caught the imagination of many critics while it’s been doing the review rounds and it’s easy to hear why. This isn’t an album for you if you’re after something easy to digest, but, if you’re up for it, it’s worth your time. It’s thick and luxurious – what more could we ask?

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