Church of Void: Dead Rising

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Church of Void: Dead Rising
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Church of Void: Dead Rising
Doom Metal
Svart Records
August 30th, 2013
Release length: 43:48
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Formed in 2010, Church of Void is a five-piece Doom Metal group from Jyväskylä, Finland that also has members who once played in Battlelore and Horna. In 2012, the band issued a four song EP titled Winter is Coming, and since then struck the interest of Svart Records, who happens to be their current home. A little more than a year later, the band presents their debut full-length album, Dead Rising, a slab of nearly forty-four minutes of early Doom Metal influence for today’s listeners. But, does this end up being a solid effort, or is this just not that great a recording?

Through much of Dead Rising, you can’t help but feel a slight Egyptian atmosphere at work, even in some of its trippiest moments. “Tristess” has this vibe in some spots, especially when the tambourine kicks in during some bridges, but overall the song is more a typical Doom Metal approach full of enthusiasm felt in the music. The vocals, however, do become really hard to listen to at times, especially right in the start when it comes off like drunken ramblings that become more on key and coherent the deeper you get. Thankfully this is the only song they really become a problem in. This somewhat upbeat offering ends up a stark contrast to the morose My Dying Bride style “Little Child Lost.” In fact, it so closely mirrors them that you can’t help but wonder if any of the five members, who happen to be using aliases like Byron Vortex (drums) and Adolf Darkschneider (lead guitars) isn’t a current or past member. Once seven-and-a-half minutes in, the song takes on more of an upbeat Punk vibe out of nowhere, though oddly suiting as a conclusion to this song, as well as the album in general.

“Winter is Coming” is a slower moving cut with thick, deeper riffs that sends the buzzing distortion right down your spine. Some additional background elements work to make the song richer, and the trippy riffs about three-and-a-half minutes in do send you on a slight trip. There are some passages here that do sound more like something off a Sentenced album, carrying a darker tone overall with some of the best vocals the recording has to offer. “Dead Rising,” however, is a very grim and cold sounding track, thanks largely to the trudging pace. It starts with a simple acoustic performance with additional violins in the background that give a truly moving sensation the song itself doesn’t capitalize on at first. The main verses do carry some cleaner keyboard notes that keep the chill alive, along with the clean singing and deeper harmonizations that appear, shifting to rougher, drastic shouting when the pace picks up in a chaotic manner towards the end, giving way to the beautiful orchestration and acoustic notes from the start. It’s a bit choppy when you hear it as a whole, but overall it still is a perhaps the best song on the album.

Dead Rising really starts out rocky, and in a way is almost painful to sit through for the first minute or two. But, when you give it time and slip a little deeper into the gothic themes, subtle Egyptian atmospheres (though this may just be my perception), and truly depressing performances later on, Church of Void end up being a surprisingly enjoyable group that shows a great deal of potential. While this isn’t going to become Doom Metal album of the year, it certain has enough solid material to make it one worth taking note of. If anything, it just shows a young band plucked from the wild when not fully matured. One spin through Dead Rising will have you expecting great things from Church of Void in the future, but for now, this is an album well worth taking the time out to hear, if not pick up when you next have the chance.

01. Tristess – 2:53
02. Son of a Witch – 4:54
03. Winter is Coming – 4:53
04. Dead Rising – 8:20
05. Owls are Listening – 4:45
06. The Magician – 3:07
07. Entity of Kalypso – 6:12
08. Little Child Lost – 8:44
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Church of Void (band)
Church of Void

Digital review copy of this release provided by .