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VoyD - A Realm Awakened

VoyD
A Realm Awakened
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 May 2018, 7:46 AM

VOYD is a two piece Technical/Progressive Death Metal project based out of North East UK. “A Realm Awakened” is their debut release, independent. The album was mixed and mastered by Sam Butterfield (PitchBlackAudio.net), and the artwork was created by Megan Mushi (behance.net). The logo was designed by Simon Atkinson (SimonAVisuals.com). “A Realm Awakened,” the band’s debut offering, has nine tracks.

“Awakening” is a brief one-minute opening instrumental, segueing into “Blight.” There is a lot of chaos as the riffs shift in and around under the raging low Death vocals. Lead guitar passages provide moments of melody in what otherwise is a highly technical affair. The kick drums reign down like machine gun fire at times, and all works together as a well-oiled machine. “Deluge” is a bit shorter, but no less of a tight structure with brutal, punishing vocals. Amidst the destruction, the guitars build on a melody like that has Classical music influences. They are woven throughout but used subtly. “Torment” starts off slowly and cautiously, building from an opening blood-curling scream. The killer slashes his blade blindly, spraying blood everywhere, and emptying entrails onto the ground, still steaming with life. The main riff settles into a groove, taking the song to completion.

“Descent” is more structured from the start, but no less aggressive. They show some more Progressive elements here in the chord progressions and shifting meters, allowing some of the more technical elements to take a bit of a back seat. Twin guitar harmonies and a dexterous lead highlights some more melodic moments. “Oblivion” is a shorter song of chaos and torture. Again, we hear competing elements coming together in a palatable stew of ingredients seemingly not tasty to co-exist together. Indeed, that is perhaps the most striking feature of this album in many ways. “The Light Passage” opens with an organ that you might hear in a church service, with brief chants. The main riff kicks in hard after that, and the guitars are never content to rest on one line. I can hear more of the Classical elements in them at times, with punishing heaviness at other times.

“Kingdom of Rapture” is so tightly wound that it might explode if it is picked at. Yet, hauntingly alluring lead guitars provide a melodic backdrop that you might not expect, climbing up and down scales with a honed precision. “Voyd” closes the album, saving the longest song for last, at over six minutes. It’s a majestic piece that offers many different elements to the listener, including incensed vocals, some harmonic guitars, and machine gun drumming.

Death Metal has to evolve. The genre boundaries are so narrow and there have been so many bands that have been afraid to deviate from these norms that the much of the genre today is stale. This is not the case here with “A Realm Awakened” by VOYD. Sure, it’s as tormenting and brutal as anything that you have heard, but the compositions are clearly done with a musician’s mind. The technical elements are superglued in a machine that is nearly flawless, yet they find a way to work in melody into a product that, by definition, it nearly devoid from it. They have unleashed a new monster in the underworld, and he comes bearing the scythe of the reaper.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Awakening
2. Blight
3. Deluge
4. Torment
5. Descent
6. Oblivion
7. The Light Passage
8. Kingdom of Rapture
9. Voyd
Lineup:
Jonah Lambton
Christopher Swainston
Record Label: Independent
     


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