Ancient River – ‘After The Dawn’ (2020)
The Florida duo complete their ‘Dawn Trilogy’ with the follow-up to 2014’s ‘Before Dawn’ and ‘Keeper Of The Dawn’ from 2015.
Eerie atmospherics accompany spectral voices on opener ‘So Long Ago’ before glistening shards of fuzzy guitar shatter any chance of drifting off into a narcoleptic dream world. Imagine a Floydian shoegaze trip and you’re nearly there. ‘Trust In Me’ rides a wave of almost unbearable tension waiting for that explosive release that never quite arrives before we’re gobsmacked with a face full of swirling, phased Sabbathian sludge via ‘Until The End’.
‘The Nothing’ is a spacey musical sorbet to cleanse the mental palette for the speedfreakin’ metallic crunch of ‘King Freak’ as the pair of metalheads let their Motörhead freak flag fly with some gnarly Chapterhouse-meets-Swervedriver shoegaze sparks. The dreamy ‘With Love’ is a nice respite from the preceding wall of guitars arrangements, and the epic closer ‘Under The Stone’ throbs with doomy gloomy meandering guitars and fluttering psychedelic touches that awaken that thousand yard stare “time out” in all of us.
Before its 8-minutes have passed, we’ve shivered through a crescendo of bonecrunching pyrotechnics before softly settling down to Earth in a cloudy haze of shimmering sunlight as the dawn creeps over yonder ridge and welcomes a brand new day.
– Jeff Penczak