When you think of Lexington, Kentucky based music, you would think of bands much like the Civil Wars. You would think of bands that focus mostly on vocals and acoustic guitars to give them the southern country sound. This is mostly the same for Ancient Warfare. Although some exceptions can be found, Ancient Warfare is a homegrown Kentucky band.
The soft harmonies found on several tracks with the present, yet faded, drum kit gives this album a great sound. And the aptly named Echo Wilcox (lead vocal and guitar) leads us through a seemingly desolate, yet beautiful world, which she has built.
The Pale Horse was written with the apocalypse in mind. “Not in an epic sense, but in a sense that it is all-encompassing.” Wilcox said. This album takes images and visual beauty and transforms them into a musical world. This might sound odd or even stupid to some listeners, but if you sit back, close your eyes and just listen, you will understand.
Some parts of the album, such as on “Dreamcatcher” do become overcomplicated. Beats collide and crash into each other giving an uneasy and almost unfinished feeling. It doesn’t necessarily help that Ancient Warfare has all four members providing vocals.
The Pale Horse tries to experiment and expand into more sounds and beyond their comfort range, but the band is at their best when they are in their wheelhouse. The slowed-down and reverberated tracks like “The Last Living Trial” and “Gunsmoke” hit the hardest and seem to land the easiest on the ears.
For a debut album, Ancient Warfare came to play ball. Five years in the making, Ancient Warfare has found their sound and have a lyrical depth not normally found in the modern music scene.
Tracks to remember: Gunsmoke, Rollin Tides
Tracks to forget: Tusk & Mouth
*Image from Noisy Ghost PR