Ancst – “Ghosts Of The Timeless Void” (Lifeforce Records)
Mission statement…? Well I never heard of a band, let alone a black-core band issuing one of these but Berlin’s Ancst, who look unbelievably normal say (among other things) ‘… striving from different life-perspectives, we see ourselves and each other in individual responsibilities to give this entity any sort of significance…’! Since 2011, they have spearheaded Germany’s ‘neo crust’ movement and issued something in the region of 17 releases, 2 of which are full length albums. Mixing modern black metal with hardcore, I’d also chuck in a fair amount of melodic death from old school Swedish bands like At The Gates, given the chopping riffs fused with plenty of melody – not withstanding the throat raw screaming and hyper speed drumming! “Ghosts Of The Timeless Void” is 11 tracks that reflect a lot of maturity probably gained from the vast amount of shows that Ancst have played and this energy is inherent in the songs, along with intelligent arrangements that show skill in melding catchy and deep melodies with an extreme intensity easily capable of inducing a heart attack. From the mid tempo emo-core of ‘Concrete Veins’ with its somber melodies contrasted by raw screaming to the heavy chundering brutality of ‘Unmasking The Imposters’ with its drilling riffs laced with black guitar melodies a la Dissection, it’s pretty clear that Ancst have a winning sound that will appeal to many lovers of extreme styles – especially when they launch into a black-core blast beating frenzy! Mellowing out a tad on ‘Shackles Of Decency’ the sound gets dirtier into a riffola mix along with plenty of extreme drumming but held together by the powerful old melodic death sounds that permeate throughout the song. In complete contrast is ‘Dysthymia’, a dark atmospheric track with its genteel guitar and far off rasps evolving into a powerful doom death opus along the lines of Paradise Lost, clearly showcasing another side to this band, before kicking back into the black death mix of ‘Sanctity’, which kept the powerful emotion as the melodic shoegaze guitars added even more passion to impress me. This was certainly a memorable release reflective of focus and talent, so maybe that mission statement was justified after all.