|Grindcore, Hardcore, Punk, Sludge
March 19th, 2013
Release length: 25:24
Dragged Down a Dead End Path carries a very dark and gritty quality, but still has a rather modern, somewhat higher end crisp production. The audio sounds more like sandpaper that feeds into the underground world perfectly. The guitars have a deeper tuning with a little distortion that works well with the already low bass presence. This sounds great all around, but really accentuates the Grindcore areas more. The drums are solid, having a thick snap to the kit, along with a nice click of the bass kicks, finding the cymbals more to the front but still a bit low in volume, matching the general lower pitch of the other instruments. The shouting vocals are simply abrasive, matching the rougher music exterior and attitude perfectly. In other words, listening to this album is like having your face scraped along the most jagged of brick walls, and that’s just the way it should be given the low-tuned attitude and aggression Call of the Void brings with them right from the start.
“Failure” starts off slowly, introducing the album like the start of a live set with random drumming and held chords full of feedback. A brief pause with a catchy riff follows, escallating into grinding bridges, and plenty of two-stepping passages that take on more of a mid-tempo assault. This ends up a highly addicting track full of energy all around, even when the pace slows down near the three minute mark. But this track doesn’t even set up some of the brutality that awaits. “Bottom Feeder” kicks things off with pounding blast beats and strong focus on the bass and some deeper, rather complex chords that will have you pounding your head instinctively. The pace dies down shortly after, giving way to some atmospheric Punk chords that seem oddly uplifting. This isn’t the only time it does this though, as “I Hope You Two Fuck” does have that abrasive tone, but it just isn’t as intense or aggressive. In fact, that one ends up more a fun track with a bit of an upbeat vibe.
“Bottom Feeder” makes a nice contrast for some of the crushing material, such as the Sludge fueled “Endless Ritual Abuse,” a slower track that also finds a good focus on the bass once more. The riffs here are catchy as hell, but far from as bludgeoning as the others, even when the pace picks up a bit or shifts into some toned down blast beats. While far from the violent material that kick starts the album, it’s hard to deny how infectious it becomes, and it does stand out as yet another strong offering, if not a bit out of place. The same can be said for “Breeding Grounds.” There is a bit more hostility behind this one though, and the additional Punk and Hardcore elements later on have some additional authority behind them as well, especially in the breakdown towards the very end. There’s also a brief audio sample of the conclusion of a sermon, having someone preach about doing God’s will. It’s a fitting addition to the performance, additional chords in the background of it work to keep it from getting too dull, but still ends up extensive despite the shorter length dedicated to it.
For the most part, Dragged Down a Dead End Path blends the hostility and violence of acts like Pig Destroyer and even Napalm Death, sans the Death Metal of course. This tone, first found on “Failure,” sticks with much of the album, making it hard to put down. Here and there you’ll happen on some tracks that do seem a little out of place, but the general flow remains, and the production stays consistant. Call of the Void put out a rather varied, but very strong and even catchy album full of energy and intensity that any fan of Hardcore will enjoy. Even those not too keen on the style will find the darker atmospheres and rougher audio presentation to be something of interest. There’s no doubting that Dragged Down a Dead End Path is an impressive debut that will try to tear your face right off, but it does still show some room to grow for the band, making them a group to keep watch of, and one to make yourself familiar with right now.
01. Failure – 3:03
02. Theory of Mind – 1:57
03. Bottom Feeder – 1:44
04. Endless Ritual Abuse – 2:45
05. Abomination – 2:40
06. Breeding Grounds – 3:44
07. Napalm Lungs – 1:41
08. The Liar’s Heart – 2:10
09. I Hope You Two Fuck – 2:35
10. Faith & Filth – 3:05
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10