Ancient Methods The Jericho Records Ancient Methods
You have to applaud the conceptual vision of Ancient Methods (aka Michael Wollenhaupt). His first full-length album, The Jericho Records, sonically portrays the biblical battle of Jericho. Although there’s a level of ambiguity as to what is being explored here, Wollenhaupt’s versatility across the album is impressive. The clank of machinery within industrial techno is replaced with the banging of marching drums, for example, and it’s these subtle changes that give the concept weight without betraying the audience with cheesy Middle Eastern BC pastiche.
Split into three sections (The City of Jericho, the Battle, the Aftermath), the opening of the record is the most varied segment with homages to the bazaar in The City Awakes. The album retains Ancient Methods’ gut-clenching rawness on tracks like Treason Creeps In and House Rahab, suggesting that conflict is imminent – a theme present in most of Wollenhaupt’s music. The battle section contains a typically raucous and dancefloor-ready grind in the form of Crack and Collapse in the Storm of Lights yet finds space for oddity. The final chapter of the record showcases Wollenhaupt’s mastery of production beyond noise, with 80s German proto-techno gem Walking on a Cursed Soil being a real standout on this inspired and ambitious record.