Void Moon – On the Blackest of Nights

I greatly enjoy doom whether it’s traditional, blackened, or gristled death styled (this being my favorite of the lot) and Sweden’s Void Moon are toiling away in the desolate fields where acts like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus lay down their misery to look up and ponder the vastness of the heavens. It’s too bad that a little of the greatness that permeates from both aforementioned bands didn’t rub off on what’s on display here. Honestly, my first trip through the bands debut, “Onthe Blackest of Nights”, was pretty miserable, for the bands pristine and treble heavy production really doesn’t allow a lot of depth or feeling to empower or hold this material aloft. This is now my 3rd crack at Void Moon and I have to say there has been a slight improvement as their music is at the very least interesting, if not just bizarre. The songs unveil a very “off” sounding feeling, or resonate at a frequency that’s hard for me to get into and wrap my head around. It doesn’t help that Jonas Gustavsson’s crooning style feels off pitch just enough to make it unpleasant as he takes a stab at an Eric Wagner mixed with Robert Lowe level of raspy pitch singing, but never comes close to the amazing skill or effectiveness of either vocalist. “The Word and the Abyss” is an exercise in stark minimalism with the drums doing very little while thin guitar lines range from an almost black dissonance, to completely boring palm muted crunching. In fact, the barren drum work on this album is a serious detracting factor to the listenable health of this album. The lack of flair and rhythmic texture forces the weak guitar riffs and poor singing (check out the wince inducing attempt at vocal harmonizing at the end of “Cyclops”) to have to carry the sickly spirit of this album. The bass lines are a stand out element, but sit equally thin in the sound canvas and somehow further contribute to the weird vibe that ends up being the defining trait employed by Void Moon. I get the impression that this was their intention, but honestly the overall effect is more of a turnoff than it is a sales pitch. People into traditional doom that need to hear everything up-and-coming may find a lot more merit in “On the Blackest of Nights” than I have, for I think the die hard fans are still searching for the next great band to fill the shoes, or walk along side the masters of the genre, but Void Moon still strike me as being more of a demo level entity that really needed to iron out their sound and skills before being handed a CD/LP deal. Perhaps the good is still yet to come, but I’ve heard enough here to not really be that interested in where this band ends up. -Marty
Cruz Del Sur Music

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~ by martyworm on November 21, 2012.

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