VoidOath – Ascensione Beyond Kokytus

It is always intriguing to find releases from countries that are not part of the traditional metal geography. VoidOath come from Costa Rica and offer a sludge doom that is not easy to decipher but very interesting, both conceptually and instrumentally. Compared to the genre’s habits, a very intense percussive work is emphasised, which sometimes becomes preponderant in the development of the tracks. The author is Gabriel Ortiz, who is also a member of Engraved, a promising funeral band that came to the fore with the demo Rehearsal MMXXI last year. VoidOath take their lyrical cue from John W. Campbell’s novel Who Goes There? (Frozen Hell), and one of their aims is certainly not to lull the listener, but to beat him or her with all the violence of the case. The sense of inescapable and heart-rending despair is expressed in the aforementioned ways, in which the protagonism of the drums often contributes to accelerating the rhythms. However, beyond this unusual solution in such a stylistic sphere, the guys from San José (in addition to the aforementioned Ortiz, we find Christopher G. De Haan, vocals and guitars, Jose Rodríguez, guitars and synths, and Allan Salas, bass) are at their best when their sound becomes really muddy, as the subgenre requires (the first part of Alabaster is emblematic, a magnificent track that changes his aspect several times before closing with one of the rare melodic passages on the album). In terms of final balance, we are in the presence of a work that is stimulating in many parts, even if VoidOath still have considerable room for improvement, which can be found in the possibility of smoothing out a few too many edges without altering the spontaneity and freshness that characterises their sound. To keep an eye on for the future, but to be listened to with due attention as of now.

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