Ancst’s Abolitionist EP — out November 16 via Lifeforce Records — packs a visceral gut punch of animalistic fury. The release treads a fascinating line, packing the grandiosity often associated with black and even death metal in a twisting, contorted, and noisy package. Noisy punk and hardcore meet huge metal here in a beautiful unholy marriage. The band’s latest tracks feel thrillingly exhausting, leaving the listener straining in a sea of the band’s making where they don’t know what’s coming next but better be ready for it.
The release ultimately distinguishes itself through these features, delivering a refreshingly unique — and really, human — take on extreme metal. Ancst have their own voice that shines through their work, and is at least clearly evident on their latest material, which gives them a great boost. The band — operating in precarious territory as they are — really let the music, and ultimately, the feeling shine through. Their work doesn’t get bogged down by any particular “pretentious” aspect of the band itself or their presentation. Ancst get straight to the point, essentially.
That robust delivery will leave listeners craving something noisy and furious feeling right at home. Abolitionist feels fitting, really, for metal fans who are uncomfortable with a smoothed over modern metal offering.
The production allows for the jagged nature of the band’s music to shine through, while separately, the band continues on with their sonic mayhem through essentially the entirety of their work while still allowing a listener to “make sense” — at least somewhat — of what’s being presented. There’s a unifying resigned but thrashing and angry feel at play, even when the band pushes something other than their grinding metal assault forward. For instance, there’s a prominent audio sample featured on Abolitionist in which the speaker bemoans those who — even as artists and creators — subject themselves to a dictatorial, demanding higher power.
Along those lines, the themes of the release and its music unite rather perfectly. Abolitionist stands as a testament to individuality — and sometimes (or often) that’s uncomfortable, pressuring, or even metaphorically violent, depending on what you’re facing.
Listen to the band below via Spotify