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Call of the Void: Ageless

I think I understand the regular use of the term "void" in extreme metal releases. I won't list them all, but most readers should at least have a sense that voids show up with some frequency. The point of it seems simple enough: the power of metal music—the bold chords, the pounding drums, the harsh vocals—work hard, at least in certain places, to suggest the possibility of nothingness. It's hard to imagine a lack of consciousness, but music like this wants to try, at least in part.

This band's name—Call of the Void—gives off the idea of nothingness more powerfully than a casual reference. After all, it suggests a summoning, an actual reaching out from the void. In some ways, the idea of a call reminds me of Pennywise the clown (from Stephen King's novel It). Remember the way he (or It) would tell potential victims that to join him is to float? "We all float," he promised. To my mind, this promise (or threat, really) suggests the ultimate form of nothingness. After all, there is no burial after death. There is only a lifeless body bobbing and weaving in the water. In such a state, there is no action, only following the ebb and flow of the water. There's nothing to live for, nothing to hope for, nothing to buoy one to the top.

I feel like I'm introducing this band, but I'm not. I first reviewed this band back in March of 2013, not long after their debut album premiered. I liked that album; I remember feeling like I wanted more music, perhaps even longer individual tracks. When I learned of this new release, I was excited and worried. As most people know, sophomore albums sometimes stumble and break all the bones that held things together so well on the debut. Fortunately, Ageless shows no sign of weakness. In fact, the band not only sounds better, they are even more powerful in their overall delivery and power. This band delivers music that combines hardcore and sludge in convincing and powerful ways. Listen, for example, to "The Hive." Despite its long(ish) windup, here's a track that simply pummels the listener with its forcefulness. I suggest listening to tracks like "Old Hate" and "Truth in Bone" as well. This band is good at developing metal ideas that connect the abrasiveness of hardcore with occasional moments of something approaching groove. And then there are the short tracks like "I" and "!!," surprising little pauses along the path. The former feels a bit like an undeveloped idea, but it nevertheless doesn't seem like filler. The latter is a much mellow bridge that leads up to the striking power of the title track. I point to these tracks because they hint at an understanding that hardcore needs interludes, rhythmic breaks to ground listeners before the next outburst.

Call of the Void is an impressive band, one well worth checking out. I think they have a bright future. Let's just hope that the void does not capture these guys too soon.

Track Listing:
1. Old Hate
2. Truth in Bone
3. The Sun Chaser
4. R. I. S.
5. Black Ice
6. I
7. The Hive
8. Cold Hands
9. Long Knives
10. Honor Among Thieves
11. !!
12. Ageless

Added: May 14th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1482
Language: english

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