• Record Label: Sun Ark
  • Release Date: Aug 23, 2011
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Aug 18, 2011
    88
    Ancient Romans is not an easy listen, but for those with the attention span, it's a worthwhile trip.
  2. Oct 24, 2011
    80
    A tripped-out masterpiece of transcendental space fuzz that pays tribute to the ruins of Italy that goes beyond the headiest moments of Pink Floyd's legendary performance inside of that coliseum in Pompeii.
  3. 80
    You can't help but move along to some of the entrancing, pulsing drones found on Ancient Romans; altogether, another epic, grandiose, striking LP from one of the best and most underrated musicians of the moment.
  4. Aug 23, 2011
    80
    If ancient Rome is where you want to go, Ancient Romans is your time machine; your one-way ticket to that magical, distant land.
  5. Aug 22, 2011
    80
    It's a singular, though often exciting, vision with seemingly no end, but as the scope of Sun Araw expands wider and wider, it might benefit its creator and his tools to grow along with it.
  6. Aug 18, 2011
    80
    Throughout the album the sense is of rough experimentation, a kind of direct curiosity in the collision of sampled loops, echoed vocals, bursting bass, and random moments. Stallone's echoed vocals, however much a stylistic commonality in some corners, act as further random hooks, a slightly stupefied but never incoherent series of reactions.
  7. Aug 18, 2011
    80
    This double album (complete with lush art booklet) is styled like a toga party, but some tracks ("Fit for Caesar," "Lucretius") are closer to the 'shroom-chewing highlights of Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.
  8. Aug 31, 2011
    79
    If Romans is something of a lateral move where innovation's concerned, it's by no means a step down in quality. In the last couple years, Stallones continues to carve out what feels like uncharted territory; hard to blame him for wanting to survey the scenery a little while longer.
  9. Aug 26, 2011
    77
    There's a real, meticulous attempt at achieving the same playful, wandering state of mind of the pre-'80s experimental classics that inspire these songs, rather than pulling from any overwhelming examples.
  10. Indeed, Ancient Romans is a mostly good record that ends on a terrific high note; here's to hoping that Sun Araw can maintain this momentum on the future, instead of falling back on the reliable old drones he's offered us so many times in the past.
  11. The Wire
    Dec 6, 2011
    70
    Even if the music remains fairly consistent, the concepts mark off more ambitious territories. [Oct 2011, p.60]
  12. Sep 27, 2011
    70
    Despite these compelling, fidgety positives, those who bugged out to last year's On Patrol (i.e., everyone) will be forgiven for experiencing a sense of deja entendu.
  13. Uncut
    Aug 19, 2011
    60
    It's reliably hypnotic stuff, although the final two seemingly interminable tracks d o expose Stallones' rather rudimentary chops. [Sep 2011, p.96]
  14. Aug 30, 2011
    58
    The altered states of Cameron Stallones' latest Sun Araw effort Ancient Romans are an acquired taste.
  15. Aug 30, 2011
    58
    As with every other Sun Araw album, appreciating the 80-minute entirety of Ancient Romans requires a high level of patience in order to uncover the record's best moments of mysticism and wonder. But while Ancient Romans doesn't always make captivating music, it does create awesome scenery.
  16. Aug 24, 2011
    40
    While Sun Araw's last proper album, 2010's On Patrol, felt carefully planned amidst all of the controlled chaos, Ancient Romans seems to wander for too long without aim or purpose.

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