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Void Ritual - Heretical Wisdom

Void Ritual
Heretical Wisdom
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 September 2017, 12:14 PM

From Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, comes this one-man Black Metal project called VOID RITUAL. “Heretical Wisdom” is their debut full-length release, and contains eight tracks. In case you’ve been asleep as of late, this genre of music has exploded with a new movement of diversity that is far-reaching and has endless boundaries. You can still pay homage to the founding fathers, but there is no need to replicate the original shrieks, muted production and wall of sound that has been done and re-done too many times over. Indeed, fans have come to expect the new diversity of Black Metal and its many wonderful new sub-genres that have provided us with some outstanding albums this year so far. Let’s get to the album to see what we have.

“The Flood” is a pretty traditional outing to open the album, with all of the elements that you would come to pass in the fledgling days of this genre. There are some riff variations that keep the overall chaos a bit more grounded however. “Breathing Ice” brings even more variegate to the table. This time, the vocals are low and throaty utterances, and the power and might come from the charged guitar riffs. They are a bit droning at times however, with that hypnotic dirge that is common in the genre. The title track, “Heretical Wisdom” continues with the basic sound established in the first three songs. The drums hammer away in a pulverizing fashion while the guitars maintain an ever-presence of notes. It is a heavy and evil sound, but nothing that you haven’t heard before unfortunately.

There are some moments of individuality and creativity however, like the opening sequence in “The Maelstrom,” which is indeed an unrelenting storm of cacophony and fury that could swallow the land that it looms over. Like a hurricane, everything in its path will be utterly destroyed. There is also a nice pause around the half-way mark, focusing more on riff driven madness before returning to the chaos. “Dead in Blackest Night” uses some nobility in some of the chord progressions but is too tumultuous to let much of a recognizable sound into your ears. It pounds on you in a rigorous and determined manner most of the time. Closing the album is the track “Nachzehrer.” It is probably the most sinister sounding track on the album, deep in scope and with a frightening sound that is partly due to some of the vocal variations; especially the spoken words/chants, which seem to rise up out of the foul abyss from the mouth of the Dark Lord himself.

Overall, I find this to be pretty traditional Black Metal with some nuances here and there, but not enough for it to rise above a sound that has been well established in the history of the genre. There is potential here however, it was wasn’t fully realized. Still, for a one man project, you have to give credit to the multi-instrumental musician who created this because I am sure it was a daunting task that took a lot of time and talent.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. The Flood
2. Breathing Ice
3. A Mockery of Flesh & Bone
4. Heretical Wisdom
5. The Frozen Altar
6. The Maelstrom
7. Dead in Blackest Night
8. Nachzehrer
Daniel Jackson – All Music & Vocals
Record Label: Throat Productions


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