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Void King – Barren Domain

Void King
Barren Domain
by Dave Nowels at 24 September 2019, 3:44 PM

Indianapolis, Indiana's VOID KING found themselves a functioning and cohesive band back in 2015 and have since released a successful debut (“There Is Nothing”), and toured the US and Europe amongst CROWBAR,  MOTHERSHIP, BLACK COBRA and other hard hitting Doom /Stoner bringers of the volume. Today, I'm taking a listen to their sophomore release, “Barren Domain”.

“Barren Domain” opens with the crushing heavy fuzz drenched riffs of “A Lucid Omega”. Immediately, I'm drawn to this track, and it's easily a highlight even before the vocals and verses soar in. Tommy Miller's tone is just about perfect here, and the low end combination of Chris Carrol and Derek Felix, on bass and drums respectively, is the type that hits and compresses your chest with each note and downbeat. Jason Kindred's vocals roar in, and momentarily (and occasionally thereafter), I'm reminded of  ALICE IN CHAIN's Layne Staley. It's a clean baritone vocal that commands your attention.

“Leftover Savages” and “Burnt At Both Ends” are up next, and it continues the heavy hitting formula of a fuzzed and slowed bombastic assault pretty successfully. Over the course of these first three tracks, a similarity has become apparent. The band cites influences such as SLEEP, RED FANG and other droning sonic heavyweights. Yet nowhere do I see them mention the band I see them channeling the most. KHEMMIS. That earlier vocal comparison has completely morphed into a striking resemblance both in tone and style to Phil Pendergast. But the similarities don't stop there. The song compositions even resemble the Prog-Doom tempo and chord progressions and even subject matter that the Colorado quartet have made their signature mark.

I'm not saying that to slight VOID KING in any way. It's just that as I continued to listen I couldn't get that idea out of my head, and that's a bit distracting I guess. I enjoyed “Barren Domain”. The talent of the band is impressive. The rhythm section is slung low and driving hard, while the tone and sustain on Miller's guitar is crazy good (“Temple Made of Bone” is a great example).  I really liked “Learning From The Ashes” and “Crippled Chameleon”, but found “The Longest Winter” the song I was drawn to equally as much as “A Lucid Omega”. I can't get over the KHEMMIS similarity, but yeah, I found VOID KING successful with this second effort. It might not be an album I'd turn to for repeated listens day after day, but it is an album I'll definitely return too. It's a very strong effort and shows a lot of promise for the future and I count that as an accomplishment.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. A Lucid Omega
2. Leftover Savages
3. Burnt At Both Ends
4. Of Whip and Steed
5. Temples Made of Bone
6. Learning From The Ashes
7. Crippled Chameleon
8. The Longest Winter
Jason Kindred – Vocals
Tommy Miller – Guitar
Chris Carroll – Bass
Derek Felix - Drums
Record Label: Off The Record Label


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