- Over the last few years, Michael Wollenhaupt, AKA Ancient Methods, has been pushing himself in several directions. Since putting his own eponymous label to bed (and parting ways with Conrad Protzmann), he's been working with Orphx (as Eschaton) and Gordon Sharp from Cindytalk (as In The Mouth Of The Wolf), performing with Vatican Shadow and remixing bands like Bourbonese Qualk, The Soft Moon and Wolfsheim. None of this has felt like a sidestep, as the presence of EBM, post-punk and other proto-techno sub-genres has grown in his club sets and mixes. It's all part of a curve that continues on Wollenhaupt's latest record, The Asking Breath Comes To Each.
Purist Ancient Methods fans might be thrown off—this isn't a banging industrial techno record—but all the project's hallmarks are there. "Swallow The Screw," featuring the tormented screeches and witchy moans of Azar Swan, is as pummelling as any Ancient Method release. "The Standards Will Come And Go" is a prime example of just how groovy a hard-as-nails track can be. It's made all the more vitriolic by Dave Foster's vocals, and it's easily the EP's standout.
"It Won't Take Me" is gothy and haunted, thanks to Tropic Of Cancer's Camella Lobo—it also has a noisy and riled Ancient Methods buzz about it. It's like there are two opposing forces at work, and the tension they cause keeps things interesting. Because it's so different, "Andromeda," with Zoe Zanias singing over the top, is harder to get behind. It's the one track that feels like Wollenhaupt has taken a backseat to the vocalist, so the Ancient Methods ties are tenuous. Love it or hate it, The Asking Breath Comes To Each brings Wollenhaupt's diverging sounds back together.
A1 Swallow The Screw feat. Azar Swan
A2 The Standards Will Come And Go feat. Huren
B1 It Won’t Take Me feat. Tropic Of Cancer
B2 Andromeda feat. Zanias