Thursday, 30 April 2015

Ancst/Ast - Split 12"


Tracklist:

1. Ancst - Blame Chord
2. Ancst - Spark
3. Ancst - Seizures
4. Ancst - Elegy Of Self-Deceit
5. Ast - Unbenannt
6. Ast - Hybris & Hamartie
7. Ast - Von Einem Ende
8. Ast - F.S.

It's the last day of April but if feels like it's winter still. Pretty apt then that I've chosen to write about a split of heavy, frosty proportions. This 12" split between German blackened crust band Ancst and their black metal comrades Ast was released earlier this year via Vendetta Records. While Ancst have been plying their trade for a few years now (with many awesome releases to their name), this is only the second recorded material from Ast. Ancst recently toured the UK with Children Of God. The artwork for the split was done by Tomisthebastard. 

Ants have stepped up the blackness on this split. There’s still plenty of hardcore and crust influences here, but they just seem bleaker somehow. It’s fast and even the metallic riffs behind the vocals don’t let any light through. Blame Chord is a pulse-raising opener, with epic grind-fuelled blasts!  Things become subtly atmospheric on Spark, where the music is more mid-paced during the opening bars. That doesn’t last the whole song though, as Ancst still hit the fast pedal mid-way through. Aside from the crushing grind and black metal, Ancst have put out some stellar ambient/noise releases and Seizures harks back to those with the instrumental passage that starts it off. The following few minutes are filled with blackened hardcore of the highest order. Their final offering on the split is Elegy Of Self-Deceit. It captures Ancst at their brazen best, collecting all of their different musical elements and weaving them into one final succinct icy blast. There is absolutely no time for breath as Ast immediately launch into Unbenannt. They are somehow louder and more caustic than Ancst, which is a feat in itself! They do sit in a similar place to Ancst in musical terms, but manage to set themselves apart on this release. Hybris & Hamartie is a totally cathartic experience from start to finish. Those screams are really bleak!  Ast go all angular on Von Einem Ende. If you’ve listened to the last LP from We Came Out Like Tigers, you might know where I’m coming from. The riffs are more melodic this time yet they still conceal real menace, just like WCOLT did on Ever-Crushed At Pecket’s Well. The mood remains the same on LP closer F.S. It’s more frantic in an emo-violence kind of way and Ast put all of their furious energy into making it memorable, even when it descends into chaotic shards of noise at the end. I was well aware of the crusty-brilliance of Ancst before hearing this split and my opinion of them hasn’t changed, but Ast are the real surprise for me. This is the first time I’ve heard them and they’re excellent.

Stream the whole thing via Vendetta Records here:-



Digital and vinyl copies of the split can be purchased from them above, or from either band. Links can be found on the Facebook pages below:-

Ancst Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/angstnoise
Ast Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ASTBand
Vendetta Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/vendetta

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