Gabe Vicknair – lead vocals, bass guitar
Jason Ourso – guitar, backing vocals
Dustin Borne – guitar
Ean Savoy – drums
1. COLONIAL (5:18)
2. VOYAGER (4:43)
3. SUBTERFUGE (5:43)
4. CARE VALE (4:52)
5. SEVERANT (5:29)
6. SPASMA (5:33)
Baton Rouge’s hometown boys AMBASSADOR just dropped their second album CARE VALE, and it comes just in time with the cool winds and melancholy pondering of autumn. A lush, dark rock sound fuelled by a post-punk revival, this album is a sonic exploration of a more aggressive and atmospheric energy than their critically acclaimed debut, Belly of the Whale. Emotional and vulnerable with a sense of maturity, their ethereal lyrics and deep captivating instrumentals have been compared to the likes of Russian Circles, Thrice, and even Depeche Mode. On this wavelength, they’ve won over a wide array of fans, ranging from the hipsters to the doom metal lovers. Recorded live in just two days at Hightower Recordings with James Whitton, CARE VALE enchants the listener to swim in a sea of the darkest blues and indigos, embracing the night tides by the strange light of the moon.
Organically gritty, full of resonance and reverb, and adorned with lyrical poetry over minor keys, Ambassador‘s CARE VALE was exactly what I was hoping to hear on that rainy September afternoon. As it opens and grows, it builds with a groove that anticipates massive breakthroughs. Gabe Vicknair‘s voice profound with a gorgeous hint of rasp, I am at times reminded of Mick Moss of Antimatter and even more so of Ian Thornley from Big Wreck (especially on finale track ‘SPASMA’). Within an invigorating explosion between the light and the dark, I travel the twists and turns of a haunting journey told by these four musicians.
Doomy and chunky, low and slow, ‘SUBTERFUGE’ sounds like the layering between Witchcraft, Antimatter, and the metaphysical workings of bands like Tool. I fall further in love as the record moves through the title track, ‘CARE VALE’. A spacious, more gentle song, it gives the guitar room to echo over the deep bass and tasteful ghost notes in the drum pattern. Edgy, true, and meaningful vocals on top create a stunning blend within the simultaneous calm and urgency of the record’s outstanding production. As stormy skies circle and envelop my world in the solid doom rocker that is ‘SEVERANT’, the band continues to impress with their talents and beautiful artistic visions. The only thing I’m left yearning for is the presence of some satisfying guitar solos, which I personally feel would enhance the dynamics even more so!
Lost in a cavernous abyss where stars meet the sea, I float and free-fall on the spectrum of CARE VALE. If there’s anything I can ask from the band it’s that they go on tour as soon as possible so we can all see them live and feel their music through our bodies!