Ancient Enemy – The Plague Ship Review

Fast Rites: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.

The Bandcamp page of LA’s Ancient Enemy proudly states that they play “down to the gutter” metal. With The Plague Ship representing their first official release, you might say they’re saying hello… from the gutter (thrash guy nyuk nyuk).

Kidding aside, a dirtier form of thrash does act as the main backbone of the five songs and 21 minutes within, but Ancient Enemy doesn’t really appear to believe in genre limits. They explore several branches of the heavy metal life tree, all without losing a bit of the palpable energy or songwriting cohesion. The opening title track is largely based upon a menacing, mid-paced thrash foundation, but periods of blasts and throaty, blackened vocals go a long way towards giving Ancient Enemy the Nasty Hybrid Metal genre (non)tag. This range is on display across the EP, with “Leprous Apparition” starting in doom mode before itself adding some intense double kicks, tremolo lines, even a bluesy finish, while “Flaming Sails” had a notable Maiden flavor to some of the riffing, some epic clean vocals, and the most melody here.

The EP also boasts a largely old school (but still clear) production, not to mention a sense that everyone involved is having a blast. Those involved happen to include a couple way-back-when pre-Last Rites (MetalReview) writers, but you don’t have to know (of) those guys to enjoy this kind of no-nonsense fire. More, please.

Release date: October 7, 2022. Label: independent.

Posted by Zach Duvall

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; Obnoxious overuser of baseball metaphors.

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