Wolven Ancestry leaves Moncton in a brimstone waste

Friday, August 14th was a bloody hot day in Moncton. I spent some time at the beach (unusual for me) and so I was pretty drained Friday night. Still though what better way to beat the heat than drown myself in cold, grim frost-bitten black metal.

The Manhattan held just such an event with 2 Ontario black metal bands and our own Black Frost on the bill. It had been too long since I last saw the Frosts (not since they opened for Behemoth in autumn 2005) so I was very excited to see them in action again, with Mike Machine back behind the drumkit to boot.

Toronto’s Will Of The Ancients kicked things off and they were probably 2-3 songs in by the time I arrived. I was not familiar with their music but I really liked what I heard, particularly the pirate song that they closed their set with. Seemed to be a real fist-pumper.

When Black Frost took the stage, the seemingly-sparse crowd suddenly filled the pit area and it didn’t take frontman Nathius very long to have that crowd under his control. Throughout the band’s set, Nate really commanded the crowd and their response was tremendous.

Behind the kit, Mike blasted away and made it look easy. I find that the band’s sound is best completed when he is drumming; just sounds fuller. As far as strings went, on the bass end Steve Frost was very consistent and amazingly his background wails could be heard despite his not using a mic! Beers was back on the stage minus his long shock of hair, and was spot on. Leads by Matt “Cryptor” Morris were mind-blasting as usual, although he was visibly upset on a few occasions when his super-fast picking was missing the mark (it was audibly noticeable too Matt, sorry)!

The band played a lot of newer material that I was not too familiar with, but they closed off with the mighty fan favourite “Enthroned In Infinite Darkness”. Easily my favourite Black Frost song, this 8-minute epic is a real crowd pleaser & riler-upper. As the song ended, the crowd screamed and cheered for an encore but to no avail; it was already late and the headliners were still to come, although they had their work cut out for them. Black Frost live in Moncton is ALWAYS a tough act to follow. (Mind you, Behemoth did a very fine job of it in 2005 tyvm)

So it was that Wolven Ancestry, from my birthplace of Sudbury, ON, took the stage. The crazy pit crowd from before had returned but its ranks had dissipated a little since BF left the stage. The first thing that stands out about this band is that they look to take things very seriously: fully dressed in corpsepaint, leathers, spikes and even furs; image-wise they are definitely not lacking. Which can often be a problem with bands where image takes precedence over quality music.

Not so with Wolven Ancestry. They look serious because their music IS serious. Their stage presence is very imposing, and the singer definitely screams his parts with meaning and a raw ferociousness unlike any live black metal vocalist I’ve seen since Nergal.

At first the crowd seemed apprehensive, but it didn’t take long for them to be won over by the onslaught of black metal: thundering, unrelenting blastbeats; crushing, crunching (like snow) ice cold guitars, and just the right amount of keyboard flourishes.

While I’m not overly familiar with their material and cannot recall all the song titles as growled by their frontman, I’m fairly certain they played these cuts from their new album: Silence Of The Boreal, An Animistic Awakening, A Trail Of Blood In Snow, and The Bering Descent (they ended their set with this I think).

All in all, a great night of black metal! Any time Black Frost plays you’re in for a real treat. I hope these guys record something someday and play more frequently. Meanwhile, Wolven Ancestry made a new fan here as I immediately bought their 2 CDs; and likely would have bought a shirt if they would have had longsleeves. I hope they come back to the Maritimes to once again lay siege to our city – perhaps with their Northern Ontario brothers Woods Of Ypres in tow.



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