Showing posts with label Void Of Silence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Void Of Silence. Show all posts

Feb 16, 2011

Void of Silence - The Grave of Civilization ...

Void Of Silence's The Grave Of Civilization is yet another album that proves that 2010 might have been the best year for doom metal. It is tragic that this album isn't being talked about too much and I must apologize in taking so long to review it. This 3 piece from Italy has produced fine work since 1999 and this is their fourth full length album. Earlier albums, "Toward The Dusk (2001),"Critera Ov 666 (2002)," and "Human Antithesis" released in 2004 were all good, solid doom albums but its been a 6 year stretch between those releases and this new one may have put the band out of the minds of many which is a shame. What Void Of Silence do is they play haunting atmospheric doom that is one half crushing intensity and one half beautiful. For the easily distracted, they can be a tough band to listen to. Songs can be sprawling and emotionally challenging so if you are feeble-minded you might be better off sticking with your shitty 'Lamb Of God' CD's so you don't have to use that part of your body known as a brain.

The album opens with the atmospheric and poetically titled, "Prelude To The Death Of Hope" and it immediately sends you into a hypnotic state of mind. It succeeds as an intro piece and actually gets it right in creating a mood, most intros that band's record these days serve no real purpose but this 3 minute track perfectly captures the mood of this immensely dramatic album. Void Of Silence from this moment on push the doom-envelope to extremes. The second 17 minute epic, "The Grave of Civilisation" shows this band doesn't do things by halves and already this early on, this song will test you to see if you are in it for the long haul. There is no room for people with a short attention span but there is so much depth to the piece that I doubt if you will notice how long the track is anyway. This track and the following 12 minute, "Apt Epitaph" serve up close to 30 minutes of devastating, apocalyptic doom with a heavy dose of fuzzed-out guitar, a gigantic drum sound and an ever present ominous aesthetic. Keyboard melodies drive the mournful sound even further into a depressing vibe and there is isn't a hell of a lot of variation but what they lack in that department, they make up for it in engaging arrangements. The group uses a choir throughout every song so the entire album has a recurring theme about it. It is not overblown or pompous and it actually fills out their sound even more.

If you make it through that 30 minute section of the album, you get another 2 tracks to take up 25 minutes of your precious time. "Temple of Stagnation" and "None Shall Mourn" both carry on the grand scale of dramatic doom pieces rather than songs. There is acoustic sections littered throughout the album as well as piano interludes but the main feature here is the bombastic crushing riffage. There is also a lot of chanting that is like a dead language or what sounds like Arabic, this gives some sections a very ethereal feel and there is also some ambient qualities like bass hums. The album ends on "Empty Echo" which is a track that seems a bit irrelevant at only 4 minutes but I think after being crushed by nearly an hour of the album already, it is hard to appreciate anymore. The lyrics on this album are bleak -
Beg for scraps from bloated masters
Lay our hands on ruptured soil
And know we chose to violate the earth
Billions weep under cloying skies
Starless sunless cursed wastes
Spread your arms wide
And embrace this world we made
For ourselves ( Temple of Stagnation )

If there is a weakness, it would be the vocals of Brooke Johnson. At times he is a bit over dramatic and they put his voice through an array of effects but the worse is the sound of singing through static. He also has a habit of stretching words out way beyond what is needed, it would be alright now and then but it is pretty constant throughout the entire album. This is a minor gripe as the music more than makes up for little bugs like this. I wasn't expecting Void Of Silence to bounce back after 6 years with their best release but that is what they have done with "The Grave of Civilization" and once again Italy proves they are one of the leaders of the doom-metal genre.... 8.5/10
Void of Silence Official
Void of Silence @ MySpace
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