Cruz Del Sur Music
November 6th, 2012
Release length: 39:42
There is a bit of a raw quality to the music on this album, lending a hint of intimacy to the audio. The guitars have a decent heaviness to them thanks to the thick distortion at a lower volume level, but they can also be on the cleaner side for some bridges and solos. The bass is nice and deep, which is a huge plus given the somewhat hollow sound that the quality leaves you with. It gives the material a nice extra bite, which is great considering how the drums sound. The bass kicks are a rather weak thud at an awkward volume level, and the snares share the same output, though are podded just right in the mix, and can sometimes have a decent snap to them. The crisp cymbals actually sound the best on the entire kit. Finally, there’s the vocal performance. The clean singing sounds good for the often laid back Rock traits of the material, but the issue here is that sometimes they go off key with the music. While it can be really evident, it surprisingly doesn’t hurt the final product all that much.
“Hammer of Eden” is a good example of this. The music is a catchy mid-pace with a hint of an Egyptian vibe to the main verses. The bass really helps to fill the gaps between the simpler chords, helping to create a really catchy rhythm through much of the song, feeding off an energetic performance from each member of the band. The chorus is really oriented around the bass guitar, and it sounds pretty good for what it is. While the vocals still sound good, they don’t match the deeper push of the music at that point, and it can be really rough to sit through. But, the enthusiasm is definitely one thing you can count on here, even in the simpler material like the following track, “On the Blackest of Nights.” The main verses are much like the chorus to “Hammer of Eden,” a little barren and reliant on the bass guitar. The bridges and chorus here, however, are a little more richer, and all around handled with a much slower pace.
It’s actually “On the Blackest of Nights” that best sums up the music on this album, as most of the material is on the slower side. “Among the Dying,” however, does mix things up well enough. The pace never really picks up, but the heavier guitars, as well as booming drums, do add a nice edge to the music for the chorus, but especially the build up to it. The main verses, however, sound cold, and really depressing as far as atmosphere goes. “Through the Gateway” is another infectious song that does pick up the pace a bit, sticking to some more complex chords in many parts of the song, though the main verses are a bit on the simpler side. The vocals still present an enthusiastic presence, but sometimes are a little more restrained for the laid back qualities of the track. You will happen upon some layering effects, finding deeper, almost growling vocals in the background that add a nice touch without being abused. On top of that, the rhythm is just catchy, and really stands as one of the more impressive offerings, and one you can easily bob your head along to at the very least. It’s just too bad this is one of the shortest full-length tracks to be found, as it seems to go to be fast, leaving you wanting more once it’s passed.
There also are two really short interlude tracks as well, and both do a surprisingly good job at what they clearly are meant to do. “Psychic Bleeding” is a nice minute and fifteen second instrumental with a focus on clean guitars that seem to add a hint of a Folk influence to the mix. It’s actually a well performed piece for such a short amount of time, slowly growing softer until reaching it’s climax, having set up a decent environment before “Cyclops” kicks in. “The Burning Court” doesn’t accomplish much, but for thirty-six seconds, the bass heavy instrumental does establish a little atmosphere with the help of the additional guitar chords, setting up “Through the Gateway” nicely.
Overall, On the Blackest of Nights isn’t one of the most engaging Doom Metal efforts you’ll happen across, but it’s definitely a rather unique one. The appreciation of the early style is on display, and influence from acts like Black Sabbath to Candlemass become greatly evident with each song. The mixture of Rock and Metal does make for an interesting creation, and the amount of energy on display really makes it hard to ignore anything off this release. Yes, some of the tone deaf areas can be a bit hindering, as are some of the emptier passages thanks to simpler music and the audio quality itself, but some of it is forgiveable given the more intimate quality of the music, a trait rarely dabbled in within the Metal community today. Void Moon really do put their talent out there for all to see, and the potential is definitely dripping from On the Blackest of Nights. If you happen to be into the Doom Metal style in any manner, you might not place this in your top albums of all time, but it does stand as a recording you should check out at some point from a band that deserves everyone keeping a close eye on as they continue to grow and mature.
01. Hammer of Eden – 4:53
02. On the Blackest of Nights – 5:05
03. The Word and the Abyss – 5:51
04. Psychic Bleeding – 1:15
05. Cyclops – 5:33
06. Among the Dying – 7:14
07. The Burning Court – 0:36
08. Through the Gateway – 4:12
09. The Mourning Son – 5:03
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10