Warrior Pope and The ‘Anchorite’ EP.
Anchorite is the second release from Bristol Experimental Doom Metal band, Warrior Pope. The three piece in contrary to their previous thirty-five minute single track album have in this case elected for a four track EP that takes their love of Doom into further drawn out Post-Rock and Post-Metal territory.
The Voices Said Empty, Hollow and Thud was cumbersome, epic and brutally well-riffed at its climax. All the hall marks of the Post-Metal genre were there albeit more as a conditioning over the dark and eventual aggressive riffs. With Anchorite containing the aforementioned four tracks ranging from 8:31 to 17:17, the band have both condensed these colossal build ups on a track by track basis as much as they have extended them within the context of the whole release.
‘Immurement’ is an excellent first track. Its build-up to the heavy mid-point again carries all the hallmarks Post-Metal and arguably its lighter cousin Post-Rock, with high-pitched guitars and a low rumble. The “gloom” of their Doom Metal is as you expect and nothing more than that but impressive in the grand scheme of things. The track feels condensed but the appropriate length before the mammoth that is the eponymous title track.
‘Anchorite’ is intense from the get go and only really relents at the eight-minute mark where the intensity of this haunting is dialled down while those involved grasp the gravity of it all. The track then slides into the mid point between dulcet Post-Rock and Post-Metal as it slowly edges towards the latter of the two once gain. This is the point where in either of these two progressive genres you would normally bask in the soaring melodies and crescendos high above you but with the doom n’ gloom of Warrior Pope you are prohibited from such, you cant relax only sit and fester your worry and uneasiness and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
Warrior Pope are an ever-changing project so with that you’d naturally expect some progression from the previous record and this EP has it. However, within the closing moments of the title track an idle bass-line decides it wants to either join Primus or Rage Against the machine by presenting its plea to do so through Doom-tined glasses and to be blunt and quite unprofessional – I dig it.
‘TerraΩSolis’ begins with an eerie layered feedback that never really subsides.’TerraΩSolis’ is essentially a less intense Drone track that from around the five-minute mark begins to flirt was various percussion tempos that sound akin to the intro of a late 80’s Punk rumble.
‘TerraΩSolis’ is very much needed though, for a reprieve was needed before you even knew of said need. ‘Glimpsing Divinity’ worried me somewhat until quite late in its airtime. After ‘TerraΩSolis’ I expected to, for lack of a better word, go out with a bang and it is only past the five-minute mark that you truly feel the weight coming down upon you.
‘Glimpsing Divinity’ and its finale feel stripped down but equally is looming. The track itself is enjoyable within the context of the band but I feel does indeed, although less so than I originally thought, lack intensity. Said lack I will say is more in the EPs organisation in that the final climax would be better suited to either a heavier track or even simply one extra.
This is of course simply from a listeners point of view and isn’t the gospel truth. That said, one thing I would put my argumentative weight behind is the unambiguous enjoyment I got from this EP. Anchorite has the atmosphere from both its chosen genre bases as well as the definition of its very title.
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