One of my favorite complaints from people who can’t tackle difficult music is when they ask, “Where’s the hook?” Like there’s only one way to play music. Fact is, there are many different approaches, and just because one style of music doesn’t resonate with you, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. However, if you’re beholden to the verse-chorus-hook structure, today might not be your way.
Death. Void. Terror. is an unconventional name for as pretty bizarre band. There is no origin story. There is no lineup that I’ve been able to find. There is no adherence to song structure or that necessary hook so many people demand for some reason. Instead, their debut “To the Great Monolith I” practically begs you to want to get the fuck off the ride. This album immerses itself in negativity and pushes you, the listener, as far out of its circle as possible. This two-track album strives for an organic, non-rehearsed approach to their music, and they want this thing to feel ritualistic. Spending your time with this album definitely will challenge your thought processes and patience. But those who stay around are rewarded with a bludgeoning performance that is unsettling and pulverizing.
The first track “(——–)” runs a brutal 24:16 and begins with a storm of feedback and noise, as washed-out cries attempt their attack, and desolate sorrow swallows your soul. The terrifying screams sound like they emanate from a killer’s secret basement, as sounds flood the senses, and the chaos washes over everything. At one point, your head is allowed to be flooded in madness, as swirling devastation strikes, and the death rattle begins. The track is sucked into a void and torn out of the other end, as the riffs bubble and burn. The song swings into sleepy black metal similar to Xasthur where you’re blistered by the playing, and then crazed howls and cackles arrive while panic erupts again. The tempo begins battering all over again, leaving you shaking and bleeding, left to fade in an echo chamber.
“(—-)” is a generous 16:46, as noise quivers and aches, and the screams blister your psyche. You might find your eyes growing heavy as the band lulls you into hypnosis, but then vicious growls and utter strangeness jar you back, and a new numbing assault begins. The track is caught in a cyclone of noise, making the room and the world spin around you to the point of nausea, and then the thing bursts all over again, opening wounds that had just congealed. The track gets grimy and filthy, as the penetrating horror spills like plasma, and soon it’s apparent you’ll be shown no mercy. Noises rise and threaten, the tidal wave eventually recedes, and we’re left bathing in a death cloud of voices crying out in agony.
Death. Void. Terror. likely won’t pop up on any huge metal festivals or underground tour packages, but that’s totally by design. “To the Great Monolith I” is more like music that exists to see how many people it can scare way, so that it can embrace and sicken those who stick around for the full beating. Those people likely are as depraved as the creators here, so you probably belong together in a twisted, blood-soaked hellscape.
To buy the album, go here: shop.ironbonehead.de
For more on the label, go here: http://www.ironbonehead.de/