On his latest album as Ancient Mith, Braden Smith has more fully integrated the synthesizer and the noisier end of his beats than he did on previous efforts. "They'll Always Call at Nine" has the same stark but spine-tingling sound that Wendy Carlos used in her compositions for the Clockwork Orange soundtrack; "Synths," meanwhile, sounds sinister and gritty, like an updated version of early Human League, before that act turned into a synth-pop group. Smith's words, too, benefit greatly from his experiments in using cadence to establish mood rather than just relying on his inspired flow. If not for the rapping, "Man Is" could be a particularly spooky EBM song. Moody, yet produced with a vividness and brightness of tone, And the Dead Shall Lie There is Ancient Mith's most fully realized work to date.
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