Call of the VoidCall Of The Void – Dragged Down A Dead End Path

[03/19/13]
[Relapse Records]

As fascinating and as forward-thinking the metal world is a lot of the time, sometimes it’s hard to beat a combination of infectious energy and rough cut riffs. Call Of The Void embody that statement shamelessly and their debut record Dragged Down A Dead End Path finds the band refining and honing those ideals with some impressive results. The basic gist of their sound takes the head-moving underlying groove of Trap Them and stirs in a lethal dose of the grinding car-crash that is Gaza. Through the entire duration of Dragged Down… you’re subjected to a selection of headstrong riffs, that are more concerned with blunt force than any real finesse or subtlety, d-beats and gruff vocals in two distinct ways; tracks like ‘Napalm Lungs‘ and ‘The Liar’s Heart‘ take the direct grind route and, on the other hand, ‘Endless Ritual Abuse‘ and the brilliantly titled ‘I Hope You Two Fuck‘ place the focus on mid-tempo stomps. It’s a familiar approach and not one would displace any disbelievers in the style any time soon, but it’s not one that you could ever fake and the sheer amount of honesty on display here is infectious. Call Of The Void are callous, loud and, although it sounds like an antonym, sagacious, let’s hope they don’t change any time soon. – DL

3.5/5

 

13223_488417497874570_987187273_nSectioned – Outlier

[02/28/13]
[Self-Released]

Chaotic music is really something that is thoroughly enjoying. A cacophony of sound that can be crafter into a beautiful album is something that is not to be scoffed at. Upstarts Sectioned have just released their debut EP, Outlier on the 28th, and it’s sick. From the slow start of the first track to the chaos of the middle, the album definitely packs a punch. After repeated listens, you’ll find more and more things to enjoy than you had heard before, as this is an album of subtle intricacies. The three middle tracks are the most standout of the five on this EP, and the ‘Hell Away From Home’ is a testament to how groovy guitarist Pedram Valiani can be when he really wants. However, the final and first tracks falter in the sense that they don’t really have a lot to offer, although they are still good song. They simply don’t fit in with the rest of the EP. Regardless, this album is a great start for a band that has a lot of potential to stand alongside contemporaries such as Dillinger Escape Plan, The Armed,  & The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza as some of the best chaotic mathcore/hardcore/prog/avant-garde bands around. Let’s hope their full-length can really help them make a name for themselves! – SS

3.5/5

 

 

Byzantine - ByzantineByzantine – Byzantine

[02/25/13]
[Self-Released]

Not many bands can bounce back from the brink of disbandment only to release some of the best material of their career. Since splitting up mere days following the release of their 2008 record Oblivion Beckons, West Virginia’s Byzantine have apparently been maturing on the backburner and getting better at their craft in every single facet instead of withering away to be forgotten. The appropriately self-titled new record builds upon the band’s prog-leaning groove-metal sound — which was ahead of its time, as you could no doubt tell by the recent surge in newcomers — and further paints Byzantine as the catch-all wonder of modern metal. The group’s sound owes just as much to Lamb of God and Pantera as they do Devin Townsend and Meshuggah, matching aggressive southern groove with intelligent musicianship and masterful songwriting in a way that may be surprising to some. One wouldn’t typically associate a band such as Byzantine to approach the realm of legitimate guitar virtuosity, but the second half of ‘Forged in the Heart of A Dying Star‘ for instance is a beautiful showcase of the band’s remarkable instrumental talents. Not only is the musicianship there, but the band’s ability to write hooks has also seen an improvement; the album’s first single ‘Signal Path’ is one of the biggest earworms of 2013 so far. Byzantine is easily one of the more sophisticated and fun groove metal records to be released in the last few years, so don’t sleep on this sleeper hit. – JR

4.5/5

 

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