Ectovoid: Fractured in the Timeless Abyss

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Ectovoid: Fractured in the Timeless Abyss
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Ectovoid: Fractured in the Timeless Abyss
Death Metal
Hellthrasher Productions
May 25th, 2012
Release length: 40:47
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Ectovoid is a Black Metal influenced Death Metal group that hails from Birmingham, Alabama. Formed just recently in 2010, the group issued their first demo in 2011 titled Breathing Blackness. While it really didn’t earn much attention around the internet, it was still a strong enough recording to attract the interest of Hellthrasher Productions. Roughly a year later, their debut album Fractured in the Timeless Abyss finds a home with this label. But does this young act have what it takes to make you really want to buy and listen to this album?

Despite what the reviews circulating around the internet might say, Fractured in the Timeless Abyss is far from a grand, near-perfect recording, though the production definitely works well for it and the group’s intentions. This release carries a very dismal sound to it thanks to a rougher touch to the audio that muffles the instruments a bit. The guitars still sound somewhat heavy, but the bass really sticks out and greatly dwarfs the chords with a deeper rhythm that takes command. The drums aren’t anything too special either thanks to that restricted sound, finding the cymbals the most impressive part of the kit due to their crispness and louder, yet distant sound. The snares are pretty natural as well, though often nothing too engaging, and some of the lower toned ones can end up lost in the thudding bass kicks. The vocals are as crisp as the cymbals, if not more, and that ends up hurting things a little bit as they match the obvious dusty and hopeless atmosphere of the music, but overall just aren’t too exciting, as well as sound like Claw from the Inspector Gadget cartoon, making you sit and wait to hear Mad Cat laugh in the background for no real reason.

Aside the insanely coincidental familiarities in the vocals, Fractured in the Timeless Abyss is a very disinteresting album. Musically, many songs are good, but thanks to the muffled quality this aspect is a little less important. Instead, the vocals are what is meant to shine, but are some of the blandest gutturals you will happen across, greatly dominating the album and detracting from the impact of the atmosphere. There are a few songs that manage to do a decent job at breaking up the typical Death Metal sound, such as the first one of the album, “Transcend Into the Moonless Night.” The music comes through a little richer and heavier, utilizing a good deal of tighter and haunting chords amid a faster chaos behind a bit of an ever so slightly more stern, and even energetic vocal performance. The four plus minutes happens to go by pretty quick due to this, and the deep bass chords add a nice punishing touch to the environment. There’s also “Emanating Spectral Vapor,” which is just a solid experience from start to finish, throwing back to the groovier Death Metal approach in some of the quicker passages, though going back to a near-Doom Metal crawl not too long after that establishes the deeper, richer sound once more.

But, for the most part, the listener ends up with plenty of songs that sound creepy, but overall just don’t have the impact required to hit the listener hard, or can even sound remarkably similar to the previous offering such as “Shapeshifting Mass” to “Transcend Into the Moonless Night,” and “Chewing Through the Membranes of Time and Space” with “Shapeshifting Mass.” “Dark Clouds of Consciousness” offers a bit of variety in the slower pace it takes for the main verses, which builds up as you progress to the chorus, an element that happens periodically throughout. “Splintered Phantasm” also sticks out thanks to the stronger push in drumming, offering a bit of a unique presence unlike the many others here. Unfortunately, the additional focus on the snares and cymbals leaves them to sound a little lighter with higher pitched music that seems almost feverish, allowing the bass to drop out. But, overall, it still ends up a solid, enjoyable track.

Other than that, Fractured in the Timeless Abyss is, sadly, a pretty generic album. While it’s not quite an amateurish attempt, the vocal performance is far from enthralling, and the music sounds greatly shrugged off in favor of them, or at least far from diverse and/or energetic. Ectovoid is basically your typical Death Metal group with a strong atmospheric push thanks to some blackened elements, but that’s literally it. Sure, your head will bob along to the rhythm with many songs, and the guitar solos can be pretty impressive when used, if not short and to the point, but in the end there’s plenty of other Death Metal releases out there that can greatly dwarf this one.

01. Transcend Into the Moonless Night – 4:09
02. Shapeshifting Mass – 3:09
03. Dark Clouds of Conciousness – 5:06
04. Chewing Through the Membranes of Time and Space – 4:35
05. Splintered Phantasm – 5:24
06. Emanating Spectral Vapor – 3:47
07. Murmurs from Beyond – 4:47
08. Locked in Dismal Gaze – 4:31
09. Delusional and Disembodied – 5:20
Overall Score: 5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Hellthrasher Productions.