ANCIENT OAK
Huldufólk (2013) By xDemoNx

Ancient Oak is a weird, one-man band from Russia, which was formed in 2011 and since the moment that they got into music, they haven’t stopped releasing material. Through these three years of their existence, they have already released two demos, one single, one EP and three full length albums. It happens to have listened to their previous full length release, called Den Siste Bastion, so I know about what to expect by this band. In Huldufólk, their third full length album which was released at the ending of 2013, we come across six instrumental tracks, in the atmospheric style that characterizes the band. So musically, they play atmospheric music with heavy melancholic feeling combining various forms of atmospheric Metal music, with many references, of course, to Black Metal, but without being able to be categorized into that genre.

The entire album is moving to the medium and slow speed while for the entire album only into one part the speed will become more fast and brutal but without continuing that in the rest of it. The riffs are melodic and absolutely atmospheric. Indeed, that style of music brings to my mind a warm night at the end of summer. The atmosphere puts out feelings of sweet melancholy and of a very familiar warmth and security. The album achieves to create images from nature and the passing from the one natural phenomenon to the other, from violence to melancholy, from the slight chill to warmth. Although that the album creates images and feelings, it also has some έχει και μερικά flaws. The absence of vocals, the big duration of the tracks as also the ambient philosophy regarding their evolution and finally the repetition of the ideas from track to track, it tires the listener.

Concerning the sound, I don’t know if it is a matter of the cassette, but the production puts out a very bass, heavy and at the same time very dirty result that in some parts it becomes annoying. The mixture, on the other hand, is very good as every instrument can be heard and the balance is maintained through the entire album. The guitars are melancholic, played heavily but it puts out a lot of feeling and delivering the images with accuracy. The bass is audible, dirty and that makes the listen difficult, while their lines is quite interesting and it is a shame that in some parts they are lost due to the dirty sound. The same thing happens with the drums. Although their lines are interesting, with beautiful, solid, mid tempo parts and fast passages, the dirty sound makes them be lost in some parts. Generally, Ancient Oak have done a very nice job regarding the lines of the instruments, which is almost ruined by the bad result in the sound quality.

To sum up, I think that the new full length album of Ancient Oak is worse than the previous one and in general they are still moving into a mediocre level. However they show that they are working hard and they are trying to evolve their talent. The future will show if they can offer to us a completed, regarding all levels, release. The fans of the kind of sound that I described above and those ones of the band, listen to the album. The rest of you avoid it.

1. Intro
2. The First Step
3. Your Fear & Troubles
4. Dreams
5. Cognition
6. Enlightenment