A complete bolt from the blue moment back in 2011, Ancient VVisdom dropped their debut album “Godlike Inferno” to an astounding and near universal press reception. Essentially playing acoustic folk music, but with a black metal mentality and lyrical concept; full of instantly memorable songs suited for a camp fire sing song, seeped in darkness and Satanism, this was a huge and welcome surprise. Two years on Ancient VVisdom return with the eagerly awaited follow up, “Deathlike”.
The follow up is said to have a greater focus on the theme of ‘death’ than its predecessor, and in terms of atmosphere this does show. Despite the sense of mystique and shadow it conveyed, it was also a very uplifting work in places (‘The Opposition’ was particularly empowering); whilst “Deathlike” doesn’t have the same underlying vibe and instead proves to be much more dark and brooding throughout. Any slight hints of electric guitars from before are stripped away as well, making this near completely an acoustic affair which adds further to the sense of mystery.
Another factor towards the less raising atmosphere however may sadly be that this follow up is simply not as good. The heights of the debut were always going to be tough to match of course, and the shadow it casts may be contributory to the slight feeling of disappointment about “Deathlike”, but it is also a much less instant album as well. Bar from a couple of songs, “Deathlike” just doesn’t quite have the same level of insanely catchy tunes.
That being said, “Deathlike” is still a very decent album, full of strong, eerie but singalong ready numbers and is definitely recommended, for fans and newcomers. The sense of inferiority to the remarkable debut is just a bit overwhelming. Decent, but disappointing at the same time.