BARN OWL - Ancestral Star - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

BARN OWL - Ancestral Star

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8 Release Date:2010-11-01

Drones, drones, drones. Over the last two years there has been a plethora of bands pursuing this genre, whether in a guitar or electronic format its expanding beyond belief since the days of such classic bands of such ilk as Loop and modern day masters such as Fuck Buttons.

Barn Owl's newie Ancestral Star mangles the drone landscape and blends it with a smidgin of post-rock for good measure. On first listen, it's a blast of cinematic background ambient haunt - bringing together a concoction of feedback-drenched guitars and one-note keys. Not a vocal chord insight by the time we get to the album's title track, which, weighing in at over 10 minutes, builds and builds and leaves you with a heavy tinge of eerie darkness.

The heightened guitar plucked chimes of 'Cavern Hymn' symbolise Barn Owl's determination to not make long tracks for drone's sake and sum it up perfectly in less than 120 seconds. However, the haunting atmosphere returns on a much more grandiose scale with a violin of such ill repute it simply won't remove itself from your ears. Once the background lifts the song to its most plaintive moment you can't fail to wallow in its simplistic beauty. 'Awakening' is a chilling, cold number and the morbid loveliness of 'Incantation' introduces some vocals that almost invite you to join some bonkers cult with its hypnotic and mesmerising violin.

The album, heir debut for Thrill Jockey, is very fluid and is faultlessly put together by the San Francisco duo. A beautifully constructed album which feels like musical nihilism on first listen but will drawn you into its inviting charms and hooks once you've given it a second chance. Magical.

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