We live in miserable times, a thing I’m so tired of writing about, but what do you do when everything is the same? The walls don’t change, nor do the circumstances, and the only thing that feels genuine is the pain, rage, and fear that now drink deeply from our daily lives. The pain in our bones and veins is real, and having an outlet that won’t harm us further is a necessity.
Almost as if on cue slither in Void Rot, the Minnesota-based death/doom beast rising with their debut full-length record “Descending Pillars.” It’s a menacing, yet atmospheric album, yet beneath all of that there is dread and anguish that’s hard to even put a name on, which is likely why it matches our current way of life so perfectly. Not even together three years yet, the band has an EP and split offering to their name before this seven-track, nearly 38-minute record that digs its teeth into your bones deep enough but never overstays its welcome. The band—vocalist/guitarist John Hancock, guitarist Kent Sklarow, bassist Craig Clemons, drummer Will Bell—has a way of letting the darkness expand its horrible wings and dig in their claws to the point of copious bloodshed.
The title track opens the proceedings by slowly building as noise spreads, with the guitars then creaking open the gates. Growls slowly rot as the pace gets dizzying, the music freezes in time, and then the drums unload, as agony melts into blood. Guitars rush while the growls boil, burning to a stirring end. “Upheaval” has drums crushing as if the world is toppling down while the guitars charge up, unloading deadly doom that laps over you like black waves. Guitars glimmer while the acid pours aggressively as everything fades. “Liminal Forms” has guitars lighting up and going moody and churning, while vicious growls make their way in and open up guts. Riffs create a fury that encircles your psyche, unleashing guttural, grimy hell, heading into slow and ominous territory. Drums hammer as the pace picks up steam, and the track fades off into hell.
“Delusions of Flesh” begins as a slow burn before the playing bursts through the surface, while the guitar work boils hellishly. The growls slither as the music smears soot on the ground, mashing riffs into your face as dark, plodding playing lathers into a hypnotic slide that pushes to the end. “Inversion” has riffs encircling like a tornado as the growls deliver grim tidings, while melodies pour down hard and saturate the earth. The track trudges while the growls scrape against the earth, picking up sediment, before the final moments melt back into the ground. “The Weight of a Thousand Suns” is a quick instrumental track that revels in mystery as clean guitars gleam, sending off strange shimmers that flow right into closer “Monolith (Descending Pillars Pt. II)” that works right into nauseous punishment. The playing crushes slowly as the leads spiral down, and the growls gurgle violently. That pace merges into psychosis while the guitars take on a gazey outpouring, setting the stage for the end. The tempo blisters, wills are beaten into submission, and a noise pocket overtakes everything and washes the track away.
Void Rot’s calculated approach and devastating tendencies are on full display on “Descending Pillars,” a record that was on my personal list of most anticipated releases of the summer. It has weight and tenacity that should excite anyone with a hunger for death-smeared doom metal as they deliver in spades. This album is arriving at a time when things have never seemed more bleak, as it shines a light on the grime and the disgust that haunt us all.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/voidrot/
To buy the album, go here: http://sentientruin.com/releases/void-rot-descending-pillars
For more on the label, go here: http://sentientruin.com/
And here: https://everlastingspew.com/