Ancestors are one of the more experimental outfits to fall under the doom tag. While they do indulge in heavy down-turned riffs, they have also been known to incorporate aspects of psychedelic, progressive, and post-rock into their sound. It’s a heady mix and very rewards those who are willing to follow their twists and turns. Their newest endeavor is a three-song EP that, at 30 minutes, is longer than some bands full-lengths, and pushes their progressive and psychedelic influences to the forefront, coming off like early King Crimson mixed with cinematic film scores. There is an epic nature to these tracks, which colors everything in emotion, even though there is hardly a heavy doom chord in sight. Still, for those patient enough to give it a chance, this is a thoroughly rewarding listen.
The first two songs, the title track and “Dust,” establish the melancholic mood early through the use of the Moog and various string instruments (such as a violin) to create excellent psychedelic-influenced progressive rock — the type that is more about creating a certain mood and taking a listener on a trip, rather than trying to “wow” you with show-offy overplaying. Of course, this all leads up to the final track.
Entitled “Epilogue,” it takes up about half the running time of the EP and pushes the epic nature of it to new heights. On this one, a fuzzed-out electric guitar explores various moods and textures for the duration of the song, coming off like a combination of Robert Fripp and David Gilmour. This instrumental track is truly a highlight and shows that sometimes a good band can display emotion by just letting the instruments do the talking.
Ancestors have crafted a fine EP, which will surely thrill their fans or any fan of exciting, experimental music. It will be interesting to see how the band incorporates these new dimensions of their sound on a forthcoming full-length. I’m sure the results will be electrifying.
(Tee Pee Records, 30-98 Crescent Street, Apt. A1, Astoria, NY 11102)