Review: “Gods of a Dead World” by Ethereal Void

Rising from abyss circa 2019 as Hollow Again, an outfit who blended Progressive Death and Industrial Metal over three EPs, a style shift saw the trio reborn as Ethereal Void in 2020. A debut EP “Disciples of the Void” set the tone in pure Death Metal before 2021’s full length “Acolytes of Entropy” gained the unholy trinity yet more disciples. Known simply as Voiicide (The Design Abstract, Ut Interficias Inanis), Nemesis and Logan Mayhem, the group are shrouded in mystery macabre melodies blend together the harmony of death metal with a sinister groove and progressive flair…

…whether it is considered a concept release or not is open to interpretation but an exploration of war, suffering and demise thinly veiled by a narrative about creatures escaping another realm of existence lies at the dark heart of “Gods of a Dead World“. The songs cling to that exoskeleton like a face hugger from the 1979 Alien with more than a few interesting twists and turns along the way. For a Death Metal cut “Overture to Annihilation” is a real eye opener, blood soaked in cinematic orchestration and virtuoso lead guitars, the barked vocals having that story telling quality to them. That flows nicely into “The Voiceless“, which introduces the lyrical themes and creatures with Voiicide playing both victim and killer as vocals come from alternate angles with a vocal tweak. It works incredibly well, the riffs flowing freely with chugging aggression, the leads bright and vibrant against the darkness. The way the cuts have been put together has been well thought through, the segway into “Seeds of Hatred” barely noticeable as the flow continues like an orchestral piece but there is also enough of shift to identify the track as being separate. Solos and leads are sumptuous, the savage verses only serving to enhance the dark beauty of the soundscapes the band create, meloncholic meanderings having a real edge so they don’t linger thanks to a clean and crisp drum sound and an exquisite mixing and mastering job. “The Art of Ruination” smashes the clock in fear as the band keep the energy levels high while musing on the grizzly subject matter. Pulverising rhythmical dynamics and stuccato riff infestations underpin the skull battering with hard hitting lyrics like “reduced to ruins in the name of progress” resonating.

The album is split clean in half like a piece of wood at the hands of an axe wielding huntsman by “Psychosomatic Suicide” which deviates from the main lyrical narrative without doing so sonically. Instead it brings together the finer elements that have been used elsewhere and combines them into a fresh new beast, the orchestrations being particularly stunning. A haunting melodic interlude, “Decay” is a palate cleanser that feels a little out of place, if for no other reason than this isn’t a restless and relentless record. Showcasing another side to the bands burnt offering it opens the floodgates for the brutal “Return to the Void” to flow through the veins like the latest designer drug. Rich and powerful, the Grove laden Death Metal riffs keep coming at pace while the leads add a real polish and sheen to everything, a hallmark of quality in musicianship. Roaring out of hell’s gate like a banshee “The Brown Stone Spire” pummels in neck snapping fashion with the band showing no remorse or regret for their actions whatsoever. The solo sounds off kilter with a slightly warped quality bit is still carried off with jaw dropping dexterity as Ethereal Void continue to refine and distill their sound. The jagged edges will keep you coming back even before the title track hits, it’s bombastic flirtations with Progressive Death Metal adding to its epic grandeur. As a track “Gods of a Dead World” walks past several opportunities to add clean vocal parts, the band instead opting for the emotive and evocative blend of orchestral moments coupled with anguished uncleans. The result is something powerful and seductive that you can really sink your teeth into… [8.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Overture to Annihilation
2. The Voiceless
3. Seeds of Hatred
4. The Art of Ruination
5. Psychosomatic Suicide
6. Decay (Interlude)
7. Return to the Void
8. The Brown Stone Spire
9. Gods of a Dead World

Gods of a Dead World” by Ethereal Void is out 26th May 2023 via Abstrakted Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp.

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