ALBUM REVIEW: Antithesis – Black Void

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There are some musicians who seemingly have a never-ending bag of tricks from which to pull when it comes to writing music. This is absolutely the case for bassist/vocalist Lars Are Nedland, who has been a long-time member of Norwegian heavyweights BORKNAGAR and is the main creative force behind the hard rock act WHITE VOID. However, where Nedland seems to show his lighter side (instrumentally, at least) with WHITE VOID, he has seemingly found a way to vent his darker, more primal side with his latest project – the aptly named BLACK VOID. Joined on this musical conquest by fellow WHITE VOID member Tobias Solbakk on drums, and fellow BORKNAGAR member Jostein Thomassen on guitars, the songwriter presents his darkest and most musically abrasive record to date under the name Antithesis.

From the very outset of the album the emphasis is on a good old fashioned punk rock energy, and intensity that is through the roof. Void gives the perfect taste of what is to come from the rest of the album with its infectious grooves and scathing black metal-esque shrieks. However, the format isn’t straightforward, with passages of mellow instrumentation and spoken word sections leading to a melodic guitar solo showing that the threesome has the ability to flip the script at a moment’s notice.

The following song Reject Everything is one of the two singles that the band used to promote the album and with very good reason. This is one of the rawest sounding songs on the album with the pulverising drums, buzzsaw guitars and some of the most impressive vocals you are likely to find within the record’s 39-minute runtime. The almost post-metal break in the middle of the song, coupled with the almost folky singing adds another layer to the music and makes everything feel far greater in scale without seeming bloated and losing the flow – a testament to the song writing. Throw in a massive singing hook in the latter stages of the song and you have all of the ingredients required to make a setlist highlight.

Throughout the middle stages of the album there are no signs of losing the momentum, with the guitar line that opens Tenebrism Of Life sounding like it could have been plucked straight from an AMON AMARTH album with its anthemic feel. You would think that throwing a melodic song in the middle of a punk album would throw things off track, but it is quite the contrary. The following song No Right, No Wrong continues in a similar vein with the addition of ethereal vocals adding yet another dynamic to the already rich tapestry. That’s not to say that the songs don’t still have the grit and aggression required to kick your teeth back down your throat, because they absolutely do. Rather, that the songs are not heavy for heavy’s sake, it is just that everything that has been added into the mix is done so deliberately and adds to the high quality of music on display.

There is no quarter given on the home straight of Antithesis. Explode Into Nothingness lures the listener in with a reserved introduction before diving full tilt into a foray of distorted riffs and booming drums, complete with almost folky clean vocals adding a contrasting layer of melody to proceedings. Despite being so near the end of the release this song proves to be one of the highlights and is one that people will undoubtedly lap up when the band graces stages around the world. However, perhaps one of the greatest surprises of the release is saved for the last song Dadaist Disgust in the form of a very special guest… none other than Sakis Tolis, the frontman of Greek black metal legends ROTTING CHRIST. The fact that the band have managed to entice such a well-known and well-respected guest for their debut album is a testament to what is being built here and he is simply one ingredient in another well crafted, black metal-tinged opus.

The fact that this is a debut album from a relatively new band will come as a shock to the casual listener. There is a cohesive feel to the way that the songs are put together – a sound that is ever expanding due to the musicians’ unwillingness to stay in one particular lane. The result is one of the most exciting albums of the year, and a great foundation for BLACK VOID to launch the rest of their career from.

Rating: 8/10

Antithesis - Black Void

Antithesis is set for release on May 27th via Nuclear Blast Records.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Antithesis – Black Void appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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