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Ancient VVisdom - "A Godlike Inferno" (CD)

Ancient VVisdom - "A Godlike Inferno" CD cover image

"A Godlike Inferno" track listing:

1. Alter Reality
2. The Opposition
3. Necessary Evil
4. Forever Tonight
5. Lost Civilization
6. Devil Brain
7. World of Flesh
8. Children of the Wasteland

Reviewed by on June 13, 2011

"The group could easily match their lyrics to black metal’s inferno machinations, but Ancient VVisdom (pronounced 'wisdom') has taken more of an organic approach, opting for acoustic and clean guitar tones."

Repetition is one of the foremost techniques for remembrance and rewiring (or brainwashing) one’s brain. Ancient VVisdom’s debut full length “A Godlike Inferno” reveals repetition that ensures their words remain fixed inside the mind of their listeners. The chorus on “The Opposition,” “Hail to thee, Lord Lucifer/I sing praises to thee/and I suffer no longer,” contains ritualistic repetition that, depending on your world view, will attack your brain like the touch of a ringwraith or lead to religious illumination.

“A Godlike Inferno,” the follow-up to Ancient VVisdom’s split with Charles Manson, contains eight odes to the man down south (not Ted Turner). The group could easily match their lyrics to black metal’s inferno machinations, but Ancient VVisdom (pronounced “wisdom”) has taken more of an organic approach, opting for acoustic and clean guitar tones. By stripping down their music, the group achieves an ambiance similar to the late occult mentality of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s spearheaded by Anton LaVey.

The soothing, camp-fire-like tones that comprise “A Godlike Inferno” seem bizarre for a cast of musicians used to inciting hardcore-fueled circle pits. The Austin-based band features Nathan Opposition and Michael Jochum of Integrity and Justin “Ribs” Mason of Iron Age. Additionally, TA of the black/death troupe Hod recently joined the band, although he doesn’t appear on said record.

While songs such as the Agalloch-analogous “Necessary Evil” and the supple “Children of the Wasteland” keep things low key, other tracks up the ante of heaviness. “Devil Brain” may contain part-acoustic, part-electric blues riffs, but the heaviness is in line with Danzig tunes such as “777” and “I’m the One.” “The Opposition” begins with lulling notes that transition into chugging chords once the vocals come into the mix. The guitar solos on “Forever Tonight” have a wildness that seems to raise the spirit of Nathan Opposition to his most animated state.

“A Godlike Inferno” has enough melody to warrant mainstream attention. This will never happen, though, due to the satanic lyrics. However, as the bandleader’s name suggests, the album contains a balance. Light and dark, soft and rough find a medium that could appeal to a large section of listeners. If you’re seeking the dark side of the supernatural, but are sick of black metal’s scathing screams, give “A Godlike Inferno” a try.

Highs: Rich melodies and memorable chorus lines.

Lows: "A Godlike Inferno" is a slow and soft album.

Bottom line: "A Godlike Inferno" is a good change of pace. Its harmonies should find favor with most of its audience.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)