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Void Moon – Waste of Mind

Void Moon
Waste of Mind
by Gary Hernandez at 08 January 2023, 9:38 PM

It’s been two years since we had an album from Swedish metalists VOID MOON. I had the pleasure of reviewing that masterpiece (“The Autumn Throne”) back in 2020 and scored it straight 10’s all the way through. I was therefore thrilled when “Waste of Mind,” their latest EP, landed in my review basket.

How to describe VOID MOON? They are a duo that operates like a project, bringing on different guest artists with each album . . . but just for that album. They are also often characterized as Doom, but they have a sharp Prog edge—deeply orchestrated tracks, melodic and layered, featuring clean vocals, exquisite lead solos, and precision rhythm. They also tend to lean towards concept albums—or at least albums with unifying themes and cohesive narratives.

The track list for “Waste of Mind” is a bit deceptive. Outwardly, promo material suggests it’s a single-track EP. And it is, but in the same way that the first side of RUSH’s “2112” is often positioned as one track. “Waste of Mind,” in fact, comprises seven sub-tracks: “A Pyramid Dream,” “Another Doctor’s Opinion,” “Tribute,” “Remembering,” “Write or Wrong,” “Realization,” and “Epilogue.” And as you can probably tell, those sub-tracks make up one storyline. Quick synopsis: Man with brain tumor has to decide between brain surgery with an immediate loss of 30% mental capacity or an abbreviated life span with slow loss of 100% capacity—e.g., death. He then decides to write his life story so he can preserve his experiences, thoughts, and legacy but ends up with a fist full of frustration and a blank sheet of paper.

Similar to the album title, the lyrics are rife with puns. On one hand, this comes across as trite, but on the other hand it underscores the struggle the protagonist faces in coming to terms with the gap between his experiences and his ability to capture them on paper. His intention is grand, but his ability to execute not so much. Like a pun—clever, but not genius.

Musically, there are lots of great moments on the album, including the plethora of incredible lead solos with additional contributions from Kjetil Lynghaug (PAGANIZER, VREDESBLOD); Martin Jepsen Andersen (BLINDSTONE, MERIDIAN); and Håkan Stuvemark (WOMBBATH, CONSUMPTION).

On the downside, the EP suffers the fate of a lot of story dependent albums—which is it sounds forced at times . . . like the music was shaped to the words and not the words to the music. This is truer on some tracks than others. And the album, as you might expect, excels when that veneer is less obvious and falters when the veneer is too thick. By that standard, best sub-tracks are “Another Doctor’s Opinion,” “Tribute,” and “Remembering.”

On the upside, an EP is exactly the right length for this material, which I am sure the band knows. I mean their catalogue is an even balance of three LPs and three EPs. They clearly know what format aligns with a given artistic intent. “Waste of Mind” is long enough to tell a good story but short enough not to become pedantic.

VOID MOON never disappoints. “Waste of Mind” is an intriguing album that thwarts expectations. Fans of Doom, Prog, and even NWOBHM (flashes of QUEENSRYCH and IRON MAIDEN) should enjoy this one.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Waste of Mind
Peter Svensson – Lead and rhythm guitars, bass
Marcus Rosenqvist – Vocals, drums
Record Label: Obelisk Polaris Productions


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Edited 23 March 2023

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