Evil does not always come forth with a brutal onslaught, often it is veiled by a mesmerising beauty. An attraction that lures the innocent in, and so it is with the debut album “A Godlike Inferno” from Texas rock band Ancient VVisdom (pronounced: Ancient Wisdom), not that accusations of being wicked wrongdoers are being placed upon the trio. It is the content in their songs ranging from mysteries of the occult, paganism, satanic philosophy, and forbidden knowledge against a backdrop of tender melodies and soaring atmospheric ethereal sounds that brings that comparison to mind.
The band is hard to classify which is always a good thing. They fuse many elements into music that is powerful without causing bodily harm and melodically elegant without ever losing their focused intensity. In the words of frontman Nathan Opposition:
“We are the devil’s blues, folk, and rock n roll,” when asked about the band’s sound, then adding “Chaos and control, phantasy and reality, life and death…the evolution of Satan’s influence on modern pop culture. We are the beginning of nothing. We are the end of everything.”
Ancient VVisdom consists of Opposition and guitarist Michael Jochum former members of Integrity plus bassist Justin “Ribs” Mason (Iron Age). Together they have created an album that in equal measure caresses the senses as it triggers and inspires thoughts and images, “a dark and enlightening foresight into the future of humankind” that is provoking. “A Godlike Inferno” is surprising and intriguing, most of all very enjoyable, it smiles whilst the devil plays.
Since releasing their split 12” EP with Charles Manson, entitled “Inner Earth Inferno“, in 2010, the band has focused intently on honing their craft and making “A Godlike Inferno” an inferno of prophetic acoustic death folk rock. To aid their vision musicians such as Alex Hughes (Hatred Surge, Iron Age), Wade Allison (Iron Age), Chase VVarlow, and Jason Buntz (engineer and co-producer though on select guitar and synth for the album) were enlisted.
From opening track ‘Alter Reality’ the album is a great blend of energy and varied flowing sounds. The opener’s slow gothic feel with industrial touches always threatening to ignite sets a high marker for the release within which every subsequent song either matches or pushes the level higher.
The consistency is impressive, there is barely a dip in any element of the songs but the dual tracks of ‘Forever Tonight’ and ‘Devil Brain’ stand up above the rest. The first has a strolling light feel, it’s scuzzy 60’s guitar sound with a Jesus and Mary Chain slant is infectious and ‘recruits’ the ear instantly. The other Kyuss flavoured track has a dark ominous sense to it, almost like it is stalking the listener from behind the melodies and great vocals from Opposition. He certainly holds the listener tightly all through the album with his clean and smooth vocals complimenting the softer musical flows and making a great contrast to the releases heavier and shadowy intensity.
“A Godlike Inferno” strikes an engaging balance between light and dark, bringing the shadows into the sun without striking down those it want to impress, and impress it does. Ancient VVisdom brings something for everyone with their album and deserves full attention.