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Aphonic Threnody – The All Consuming Void Award winner

Aphonic Threnody
The All Consuming Void
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 12 May 2021, 9:36 AM

"The All Consuming Void" is perhaps the most apt album title this year. The music contained within the one hour and four minute runtime of the five tracks is definitely a void that devours everything around it. This is music that is made for more than just listening pleasure—it is an experience and journey into some dismal and terrible place.

"The Great Hatred" was an album that I thought captured the essence of doom. But "The All Consuming Void" takes that deft grasp on the genre and refines it even further. This is heavier, slower, and more gothic than even what APHONIC THRENODY have done in the past. The composition of the songs and the song writing are at the heart of this seemingly impenetrable heart of darkness. Each instrument brings in yet another atmospheric layer and how they piece together for the greater whole is amazing. Guitars, vocals, drums, bass and keys can be picked apart in the songs and would all give the listener a worthy experience. Put them all together, sit down in a dark room with headphones, and they swirl around you with dark tendrils pulling you close into its inescapable gravitational pull.

The album opens with "Restless," and, goddamn, this is the kind of doom I love. This song is slower than grass growing, darker than night, and heavier than lead. Clean notes speckle this doomed landscape before the distortion comes creeping in.  Daniel (from Clouds and Eye Of Solitude and tons more) is the vocalist for this album. His vocals are so deep and low that he barely sounds human. It is such a good performance because, as with anything he does, he still manages to put so much emotion into the music. The lead guitar and bass compliment each other so well with their interplay driving the song forward, pushing this glacier along. Around the 7:20 mark there is a moment of ambient quiet…what cannot be heard ends up being as loud as what can be. This piece in the song also makes the gothic tinged melodies afterwards all the more potent.

Doom isn't always about depression; sometimes it can be sinister or anxiety ridden. The opening riffs to "Chapel Of The  Dead" are incredibly malicious. The tone nails down this uneasy feeling and those low death growls compliment it further. Around the two and a half minute mark, the song goes to near silence and this moment just blew me away. This style of doom just gets me so excited and I also can get trapped in my own thoughts. When that silence hit, I could hear my heartbeat and my own head screaming at me. Wow, just…intense stuff. The melodic passages that appear later on coat the song in gothic textures, which is a nice addition and contrast to the overall heavier nature of the song.

"Until I Am Empty" is immediately heartfelt to me. The clean key boards and melodic guitar notes set the stage early for a potent emotional ride. These seemingly simple music passages have a deep well of depth to them and it is so amazing how well the band uses them to their advantage. The bass carries much in this song but all the instruments interplay so well together—of the songs, this one has the best flow.  There are many different musical moments here…such as the keys enveloping the music never the beginning, the bass and melodic guitars that appear later and more of the eerie silence that drops everything near the edge of a cliff, threatening to push it all down into the void below. The song is just so well put together and it comes off very naturally.

"Chamber of Parasites" is a monstrous song both in length and scope. This twenty minute epic has more to it than some albums. The beginning moments is sparse, ambient notes that seem to dig thru my head as I listen with headphones, which is my recommended way of listening to this album. A doom song for lovers of the genre and a love letter to the style. Even on an album such as this, this song still stands out as an exemplary display of every reason why people who love doom get into it so much….and why no one who doesn't know will never understand. The death growls roll over the bass in waves while the bass holds the song up. When the guitars kick in, the song envelopes all. Riccardo has this insane ability to make his instrument heavy and melodic at the same while infusing it with weighty emotion. The song gets darker as it goes along, the guitars and death growls very gradually ramping up in intensity, the superb drumming back it up all the way.  Around the halfway point, light touches of keys and guitar take over before clean vocals settle in which are a nice touch.

At "just" over nine minutes, "The Crossing" is the shortest track on the album. After the journey of the precious track though this is okay because it serves as a respite and a fitting way to end the album. This song is more direct than the previous four, with much focus between the guitars and vocals playing off each other.  The cleans return too and I liked how the music switches to a focus on the keys and drums during their parts. After the cleans leave, the guitars and keys meld together. It's clever how the instruments work together more at different points in this song but nothing ever feels sporadic.

APHONIC THRENODY have once again graced the world with a top tier doom album that shows us that being slow and depressed doesn't mean you can't be beautiful and moving as well.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship:10
Memorability 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Restless
2. Chapel of the Dead
3. Until I am Empty
4. Chamber of Parasites
5. The Crossing
Lineup:
Riccardo V – Guitars, Bass
Justin Buller – Guitars
Val Atra Niteris – Drums
Daius Corpus - Vocals
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
     


Rating

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Edited 27 October 2021
 

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