Album Review: Modern Ancient Man by the band Holy Wow never stops weaving you through a wondrous combination of ’60’s sounding surf riffs and dark, eerie Electro Goth flavored Rock. Dmitry Wild is the brainchild behind Holy Wow. Wild commented on his achievement in recording this album, “it’s my first conscious effort to record everything myself using Logic. I recorded and produced the whole thing.” Gary French recorded bass on the song “Nebulas” and Peter Breed recorded keys on “Dreamland,” Nebulas,” “Have Fun,” and “Remember.” Wild calls upon French, Breed and drummer for live shows as needed.
Interlaced within the Electro Goth Rock sound one also hears wonderful variety of contrasting retro surf style guitar. This latest effort by Holy Wow is a controlled explosion of passion. It sounds deceivingly subdued at times but delivers delayed soundscapes of sound. Like a great Pink Floyd album the listener must let themselves surrender fully into “Modern Ancient Man” in order to appreciate the full scope and message of this band.
Dmitry Wild as a musician remains true to himself by masterfully using a heavy infusion of delay, fuzz and electro harmonic guitar effects. There is a maturity in sound that can be heard in “Modern Ancient Man” that can only be achieved by countless hours practice and repetition.
The first track is called “Hey Dragon.” It is appropriate that this song was chosen as the first track on “Ancient Modern Man” because it is upbeat in tempo, passionate and energetic The powerful electronic beats permeating throughout the song keep the listener both interested and engaged.
Dmitry Wild sings with a passionate and confident voice. Digital delayed guitar and sweeping effects add flavor to his words. The voice of Mekia from Mekia and the Machine can be heard responding to Dmitry Wild’s words during the chorus.
A heartbeat sound created by a kick drum starts off “Have Fun.” The bass line and Keyboards create a light, musical ambiance that compliments Dmitry Wild’s guitar and vocals nicely.
The next track “Looking for Love” is a meld of old and new musical influences. Imagine Iggy Pop meets The Ventures. The songs’ chorus is very catchy and gets stuck in your head very easily. This particular song needs to be heard playing on the nations radio waves all the time!
The track “Nebulas” may be mellow in tempo but that does not mean that the song is lacking in musical intensity. A pleasing melodic bass line can be heard repeating throughout the song which pairs well with the atmospheric keyboards. This is a bass driven song and it has a sound that is reminiscent of The Cure. The vocals of the song are a fitting tribute to the memory of Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking…
The next track “Dreamland” is very guitar driven and propels you forward instantly. Keith Richard inspired riffs run through this song. Due to its linear musical structure “Dreamland” is the perfect name for this song. For when one listens to it you feel as though you are moving along in the time created by the electronic drums in a fantastic dream like world.
“Falling into Place” starts off in a very minimalistic way. There’s only guitar and vocals in the beginning. The highly filtered reverb layered vocal effects make Dmitry Wild’s voice sound as if he is larger than life and floating by astral projection over the song. The song builds in its progression as bass keyboards slowly get added into it.
In “Remember” Holy Wow gives you more of their dark, haunting goth rock sounds with a twist of pyschadelia. There are erratic pulsating percussion sounds that can be heard throughout the song.
The next song “Big City Lights” Dmitry Wild describes the songs meaning in this way, “it’s about a man reluctantly going to work just to realize he is doomed by digital silence…” The meaning of the song is to try and find your true purpose in life and go for it.
The next “Wild Nature” is in triplet 4/4 time and features a highly electronic sounding snare drum. The filtered guitar sounds are perfectly matched against the haunting sounding voices created on the keyboard. This song is an ode to Mother Nature and is powerful and very enjoyable. The influences of goth rock and underground eighties bands such as Joy Division can be heard in this song.
In the last song “Punk Rock” the musical tension created by the drums and the bass line are pleasing. In contrast to it’s name “Punk Rock” is subtle in its intensity but the more you listen to it you realize it’s there! The song is a personal journey exploring the many facets of a romantic relationship.
The music in “Modern Ancient Man” is intense… It defines Holy Wow as masters of the world of Electronic Goth Rock. This album by Holy Wow requires more than just one listen. Just like a great movie you don’t always catch everything going on the first time. And the music, vocals and sound of Holy Wow grows on you every time you listen to them! Congratulations to Dmitry Wild! You should be very proud of what you’ve created with this album!
– Ash Andersen.