Martin : More people should know this band. Void’s 2003 debut, ‘Posthuman’ followed in the wake of outstanding avant-garde metal albums such as ‘666 International’ and ‘Fire Walk With Us’. While this may mean that the album wasn’t 100% original, it is of a comparable quality as the aforementioned genre milestones, meaning it’s bloody brilliant. However, it took Void a whopping 8 years to release a significantly more organic, yet equally great follow-up, which is, obviously, not the best way to create a buzz.
Now, another seven years later (well, six, as the original release date was in 2017), ‘The Unsearchable Riches Of Void’ marks the Brits return to daylight. Given yet another gargantuan gap between releases, the EP is rather aptly titled, as Void have sunken into relative obscurity. However, for those previously initiated into the band’s work, ‘The Unsearchable Riches Of Void’ justifies a rather weird victory dance.
Crucially, this 18-minute EP marks yet another leap in Void’s development. While the EP sounds every bit as organic as the self-titled, it is nowhere nearly as much black metal-oriented. In fact, for a band rooted in black metal sounds, the use of black metal riffing is rather sparse. Of course Matt Jarman’s Voivod-through-Ved-Buens-Ende riffing is omnipresent, still leaving traces (of reality) of Void’s former course, but overall, ‘The Unsearchable Riches Of Void’ has much more of an old-school vibe, which, on second thought, shouldn’t even be a surprise given that the thing was released on bloody tape. Anyway, while some traces of Norway remain, Napalm Death seems to be an equally valid point of reference.
Having said that, the vocals are a completely different story. While new vocalist Levi Jackson’s repertoire does feature the odd black metal scream, it is much more varied than that. Actually, it is pretty much all over the place, not rarely coming across as Glen Benton fighting an army of drunk Teletubbies. To add to the general confusion, the EP features the kind of odd movie samples that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Fantômas album.
Yes, ‘The Unsearchable Riches Of Void’ is that weird, and yes, that is great. Moreover, the music is nowhere nearly as unfathomable as one would expect on the basis of this description, courtesy of great musicianship and a knack for tight songwriting, culminating in the great closing track, ‘The Wildebeest’. Let’s hope it won’t take another seven or w=eight years before we get to hear a full album’s worth of this.