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Ancient VVisdom – Down On the Chain Gang

By: David E. Gehlke



The primordial allure of Ancient VVisdom’s A Godlike Inferno (Prosthetic) is irresistible. Irresistible because of the harmonious vocals of mainman Nathan Opposition, who is thrust up against acoustic guitars, minimal bass lines, and chains, machetes, and bamboo as the percussion. And once savory, instantly-hummable songs like “The Opposition,” “Devil Brain,” “Children of the Wasteland” enter one’s cranium, they’ll be harder to get rid of than a case of the crabs (gross). What could be akin to campfire music is more like a wistful hymn to the horned one, which is exactly the way Opposition and crew like to position themselves.

The Austin, Texas-based quartet came to formation in 2009 after Opposition left Cleveland hardcore legends Integrity, and hooked up with acoustic guitarist Justin Mason, and Opposition’s brother, Michael (electric guitar). The band’s lineup is rounded out by former Iron Age members Alex Hughes (stand-up bass) and Wade Allison, and bamboo percussionist Chase Warlow, this giving Ancient VVisdom one of the more unique formations in modern metal. The absence of real drums works in the band’s favor, creating a trance-like atmosphere that coincides perfectly with songs that are almost too easy to sing along to.

2012 has already been quite the busy year for the band, with an opening slot on Ghost’s North American winter tour and a run of dates in the United Kingdom under the belts. In addition, AVV found time to squeeze in the recording of their forthcoming album,
Deathlike, which should be released later in the year. As Opposition would go onto to tell Blistering, there’s plenty more where that came from…

Blistering.com: You did some time in Integrity prior to forming Ancient VVisdom. What were some of the main takeaways from being in that band?

Nathan Opposition:
I had a great time, we got to travel the world. I learned a lot by being in the band, just by how it functioned. I learned a lot from (band leader/vocalist) Dwid handled his business. That’s one of the intelligent things about life – you get to go out and experience it. I think that’s what I did with that – I watched how a band like that functioned, which made me say, “You know what, I’d like to do another band again.”

Blistering.com: Austin is such a great place for music, from what I’ve been told. In terms of shaping of the band, did your current surroundings help?

Opposition:
I think to a certain degree it can very much change everything you do. It also affected a certain swagger with our songs; given it a more Southern sound. It definitely affected the songs in a certain way, even more now that people are noticing that we have a Southern swagger here and there.

Blistering.com: You recently did some dates in the United Kingdom. How did those turn out?

Opposition:
Oh, they were awesome. We did a BBC1 recording session, which was cool. We did four songs, one was a brand new track, then we did a show that night at the Brixton (Academy), which was a headlining show. All of our buddies showed up, got hammered drunk, singing along and shit. It was like a big party [laughs]. That was the great, and all of the other shows were really cool as well. It was cool because they were just our shows and people were showing up to see Ancient VVisdom, so yeah, we love London. We have tons of love there, which is awesome.

Blistering.com: I talked to some people who caught you on the Ghost tour this past winter and they had a similar strong reaction to your live show. In terms of laying the groundwork in North America, how big of a tour was that for you?

Opposition:
You never know what would happen with that tour. We got some really cool tour offers, but we did this one, and it was really great for the band. The timing was right from that perspective. We’re going to keep touring in our region, which should be bad-ass. We like playing and touring with bands we have no business sharing a stage with. It’s funny. We’re going to keep busy with that. Did I even answer your question?

Blistering.com: I would say so, if we were talking about the Ghost tour. Some people we talk to give one-line answers and expect us to figure it out from there.

Opposition:
[laughs]

Blistering.com: Since you’re a part of the metal scene, people have a pre-disposed idea as to how bands should sound and present themselves. Obviously, your live presentation is a little different than most, so can you describe the various reactions you’ve received?

Opposition:
We get a lot of people that enjoy and appreciate the rawness of the acoustic guitar or for the lack of a better term, the “organic” nature of our sound. It’s not like it’s an organic market or farm, though [laughs]. People slap it on music now and call it “organic.” There’s a lot more organic things than us, but I’m not worried about it. People like a lot of the added bonuses with the machetes and things like that. We’re going to do a lot more of that – we just recorded a new record and we’re going to put a lot of new progressive sounds on there. It’s a cool thing, but we don’t want to change what we have. Depending on how much you drink that night, it gets closer and closer to you [laughs]. People really enjoy that, I think. Like, when I hit someone’s iPhone out of their hands with a chain.


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