Canadian progressive metal band Anciients made a strong impression with their 2013 debut, Heart of Oak, landing on best-of lists for metal and mainstream outlets alike and earning a Juno Award nomination for metal/hard music album of the year in 2014. Guitarist/vocalist Kenneth Cook describes the set’s lyrical content as “uplifting and positive,” but he can’t say the same for the band’s upcoming sophomore album, Voice of the Void, due Oct. 14 on Season of Mist, stating that it’s “a lot darker.”
“The subject [matter] is more sinister and evil,” says Cook. “We have always liked to create music that has a lot of variation. In regard to that, it is something that was maintained on this album, but we have definitely leaned more toward the heavier and more progressive aspects of our music this time around.” The shift wasn’t a preplanned course of action — “We definitely didn’t sit down and decide to write a record that was the same, or different,” he notes. “The songs just naturally came out the way they did.”
Cook further explains, “Voice of the Void takes an apocalyptic view on the issues humans as a whole are facing in today’s day in age. If we don’t fix these problems soon, we are all doomed.” The album doesn’t offer solutions to eliminate the chaos that the world is experiencing, though he muses that such ponderings “could be a theme to base the next record on.”
Anciients are premiering the track “Serpents” from Voice of the Void on Billboard.com today. Listen to it below:
“Serpents” is concerned with the idea that “the rich and elite rule this world,” says Cook. “The concept relates to the fact that there are people who hoard money and have more of it than they could spend in a 100 lifetimes, while millions of people starve or don’t know where their next meal is coming from.” The old-school Metallica influence is clear in the track, and Cook calls the band “one of, if not the first, metal bands I had heard as a youngster. I’m sure some of that stuff rubbed off on me and has some sort of subconscious affect on the music we create today. We all have a very broad spectrum of music that we are influenced by, from classical and jazz, classic prog rock, death metal and black metal and everything in between.”
Anciients will celebrate their new album with a street-date show at Rickshaw Theatre in North Vancouver. Voice of the Void can be pre-ordered here.