Band: Void of Sleep
Label: Aural Music
Genre: Progressive Sludge Metal
Release Date: March 27th, 2020
For Fans Of: The Ocean, Mastodon, Garganjua
I know everyone is tired of bands being compared to Opeth at this point in time, especially with their massive change in sound and plenty of people jumping ship at that point (not me), but hot damn, is this new Void of Sleep record a refreshing hybrid of Mastodon, The Ocean, and newer Opeth, especially regarding the vocals. Given that Void of Sleep recently acquired a new bassist, who is also in Nero Di Marte, a band that recently dropped a stellar death/post-metal record that has incredible bass tone, I was incredibly excited to give this record a listen. Metaphora is a refreshing and captivating listen that kept me on edge for its entire duration.
Blending sludge metal in the vein of The Ocean, to doom metal similar to the new Garganjua record, to good ol’ progressive metal, Void of Sleep have effortlessly created something that is as bone crushing heavy as it is super nuanced and inherently melodic. Although there are countless bands who fluidly weave melody into their music, Void of Sleep have a very natural ebb and flow from the heavier moments to the softer, much more atmospheric and melodic passages. The heavier parts when they do come up, are warranted and fit exactly where they need to be in the song. The tracks on this record go back and forth between the soft and slow passages to the doomy and crunchy, heavy passages and everything in between, which would be sure to confuse any unsuspecting listener. Who would’ve thought that metal artists are capable of creating heavy music riddled with ridiculous amount of melody? That was a sarcastic rhetorical question by the way…
The Famine Years opens up the record beautifully with a brief acoustic segment akin to the first 8 seconds of Ghost of Perdition by Opeth, while the following track, Iron Mouth, introduces you right to the groovy and coordinated madness. Iron Mouth has a chorus that reminded me heavily of Mikael Akerfeldt’s vocals mixed with some of the vocals and production from Mastodon. The riff and chorus are incredibly infectious and bound to get stuck in your head as it does mine. The middle portion of this track is just a slow, atmospheric build up with some incredibly groovy bass lines to this huge release of tension once that riff comes back in for the massive proggy goodness of a breakdown.
Waves of Discomfort shows Void of Sleep at their doomier side, with the somewhat brief instrumental interlude track that smoothly sends you right into Unfair Judgements, one of the slower jams on the record with mysterious vocal melodies alongside the ambient guitars leads to create an eerie atmosphere. Master Abuser remains the highlight track on the record, with that super groovy and crunch intro to the mayhem with the first taste of harsh vocals. This track isn’t great just because it has harsh vocals, but its great because of the incredible groove that it has as well as the bridge in this track. This bridge caught me off guard the very first time and boy, was I not ready for the gloomiest of abstract breakdowns combined with that dissonant use of the trumpet. This passage felt like something out of a horror movie, and I loved it exactly for that reason. The melancholic atmosphere combined with the discomforting sense of tension left me shook. I thought I had the record all figured out by this point and this curveball sent me flat on my ass. The following track, Modern Man, does tend to repeat quite a bit, causing it to feel a little longer than it should be, but it is still an enjoyable track!
Metaphora proves that Void of Sleep are currently at their best form, with the undeniable groove and fantastic display of musicianship. Compared to previous records, this is a much more versatile yet refined version of the sound that the group has been working on perfecting. Nothing about this record is flashy at all, and it is often records like this, that latch on to you the most because there is art is knowing when to hold back and when to unleash, as Void of Sleep have effortlessly and tastefully done on this record. Being optimistic, I can only see Void of Sleep growing from this point, and I am beyond eager to see where they go next musically!
- The Famine Years
- Iron Mouth
- Waves of Discomfort
- Unfair Judgements
- Master Abuser
- Modern Man
- Tides of the Mourning
Total Playing Time: 46:43