Ancst- In Turmoil

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, September 8, 2014

Germany’s Ancst formed in 2011 and has put out material on a variety of different formats. In Turmoil is a compilation of all this recorded output, and it pulls from splits, demos, EP’s, and other miscellaneous tracks the black metal/crust band that came out between 2012 and 2014. It also serves as a great introduction for people like me who may not have come across Ancst just yet, and if this particular blend of genres is one that you can’t get enough of this compilation is worth tracking down.

In Turmoil immediately caught my attention, as it is able to perfectly balance the intense crust/hardcore elements with colder melodic riffs that have a distinctive black metal influence. I tend to gravitate towards these two genres, and any band that is able to merge them together seamlessly has always ended up as one that I return to regularly. In Turmoil has thirteen tracks in total, and while I’m not sure whether they are arranged from oldest to newest there is a consistency to them that makes the compilation sound more like a normal record. One of the major differences between this group and some of the others out there is the way they truly blur the lines. Black metal/crust can sometimes just mean that the instrumentals work in a few tremolo riffs here while still keeping the crust punk base the entire time, but when Ancst moves over towards these styles they make the jump completely. Songs sometimes go from raging crust with the familiar bursts of melody to full-on black metal blasting, all without any awkward transitions or pauses. However, while the dark and aggressive nature of In Turmoil made it appealing to me from beginning to end I did notice similarity between some of the song structures. This did make a few of the thirteen songs sound just a bit too close to each other, and I think that’s one area where these guys will get better as they continue to move forward.

While the instrumental work may be what causes most people to pay immediate attention to Ancst, the vocals are what really bring everything together. The group’s singer has a lower scream/growl that is about as aggressive as they come, and it towers over the instrumental work in a way that makes the material seem that much more intense. Although the pitch stays at the same range for the majority of the songs it never becomes repetitive, mainly because of how heavy hitting and in your face the performance is. Like some of the other crust bands Ancst incorporates some sound clips into their material that tie into the lyrical themes, but it doesn’t feel like they overuse them and the ones that do pop up are well integrated into the material.

In Turmoil is able to fully blur the lines between black metal and crust, and if you’re looking for material that is able to capture both the darker chill of black metal and in your face impact of crust and hardcore this is an effort you should definitely check out. Although Ancst does have a few moments that sound a bit too similar, they have still created music that should leave an impression on their audience. They’re now on my radar and I do see myself returning to this compilation in the coming months, but if the band can continue this stylistic mixture while pushing the boundaries of each one I believe they still can reach much greater heights.

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