Space: the final frontier. Even with the multitude of technological advancements made by mankind in the past fifteen years–all the Hubbles and Voyagers–there is still much to explore, and even more to learn. However many horrors must be lurking in the Great Unknown, undoubtedly there are more treasures. The Lyra Particle, a groove-laden release from deathcore masters Ancients proves itself as one of the latter, combining stellar aspects of bouncy groove, melody and harmonization with hard-hitting, gut-wrenching heaviness to boldly go where no band has gone before.
While it might sound like an entity from outer space, The Lyra Particle comes to us from Nashville–Music City, USA. Right from the get go, Ancients hit the listener with melodic, progressive deathcore saturated with groovy riffs, intricate harmonies, skull-cracking breakdowns and a healthy dose of sci-fi-esque effects. One of the features which enables Ancients to launch such a diverse attack on the listener is the existence of three guitarists. While one guitar plays soaring, resounding riffs, the other grooves along in a grimy, low-end tone. Finally, buried deep underneath the two overlaid guitars, rolling and pounding petulantly alongside the drums is the third, chugging a steady, muddy baseline. This third guitar, as pithy as it sounds, is crucial to bringing a beefy, heavy aspect to the EP, which might otherwise suffer from an overdose of forced melody and ambiance.
However, what turns out to be Ancients’ biggest potential pitfall consequently is their greatest weapon amongst the preexisting arsenal of heavy-soft bands. Where The Lyra Particle rises high above its tedious tightrope walking peers is the smooth and fluid manner the band transitions from the heaviest, grungiest, filthiest grooves to sublimely pristine moments of ambiance. Furthermore, the constant slight inclusion of heavy elements amplifies the ambient moments to a near-divine status, while the bone-splintering breakdowns are made just that much more ravishing.
Much like their label-mates, peers and influences (Veil of Maya, anyone?), Ancients’ success as a dynamic band is twofold. First and foremost, everything they do, they do it right. This was established early on in the young band’s career with their debut release, Opposite Elite. However, The Lyra Particle makes the second facet of the group’s success much more prominent: the ability to be constantly, smoothly and fluidly toggling their heavy and ambient aspects, keeping the listener on the edge of their seat in doing so. These two aspects of the EP make it a dynamo in and of itself, to the point where even though it has an unsettlingly short run time, the listener is left with a complete experience, rather than gypped, upset, and demanding more.
So whether you’re a veteran of consecutive years of space-camp, or just a deathcore fanatic who has read too many NASA conspiracy theories, Ancients have crafted an album with something for everyone. Deeply ambient, darkly melodic and crushingly heavy, The Lyra Particle proves just because particles are typically tiny, not all of them should be swept to the side and left for dead.