This Lincoln-based quartet have been steadily building their reputation across the UK and wider afield since the release of their 2016 debut Divinity, being invited to play Bloodstock in 2018 and going on to support heavyweights such as Hundred Year Old Man and Cognitive. Divinity was well received, but having someone of Russ Russell’s (Napalm Death, Leng Tch’e, At The Gates, Dimmu Borgir) calibre at the production controls has boosted their sound almost beyond recognition. Let’s be clear here, right from the outset; Void is an astonishing piece of work; it is a huge sounding record, full of musical wizardry, dynamic interplays, fantastical imagery, melodic and death metal vocals – all of which ensure it never gets boring.
Opener ‘Merced’s Footsteps’ starts things off with almost choral vocal melodies, sweeping arpeggios, off-kilter drums – so far so good, but it’s only for a couple of minutes before lead track ‘Signs’ kicks the door in, demanding attention before beautifully bludgeoning you with some of the most startlingly technical musicianship this side of Opeth. Weighing in at nearly a quarter of an hour is ‘Solar Immmolation’, which sees the band hit top gear with face melting solos, wondrous riffing, great storytelling and with an uncanny knack of changing direction when you least expect it, adding texture and variation wherever there’s room. The middle section conjures up images and reflections from Rush’s ‘2112 -Overture’, with all the dynamics and expectations intact. ‘In Bile They Bite’ is fantastically straight-forward death metal – all chugging guitars, guttural vocals, blast beats and in keeping with the lunacy, keyboards where you least expect them. ‘Fly Further Cosmonaut’ is a fitting, majestic finisher.
This is an album that demands both your time and attention; I suggest you offer it to them, undivided and as soon as possible.
Words: Scott Crawford