On paper, a project like Voidhanger screams off the page like an occult black/thrash hybrid, especially after the hugely ballsy shift of their second album ‘Working Class Misanthropy’, but the focus of ‘Dark Days of the Soul’ is far more death/thrash in style and evokes a quietly groove-metal adjacent hardcore influence as well. It is a brilliant step for the project to take as it differentiates itself from their coinciding, decidedly not punk influenced efforts within industrial-tinged death/black Iperyt and black metal projects Infernal War and Massemord. ‘Dark Days of the Soul’ is a memorable but ultimately unsurprising take on old school death metal, d-beaten modern death metal, and classic death/thrash riffing.
The titular opener “Dark Days of the Soul” has a vocal cadence and performance that could easily have been lifted from Pro-Pain‘s ‘Act of God’. And I honestly mean that as a compliment as that was the heaviest and more memorable period for that band, but I also need to mention it’s overall d-beat/crust influenced punch leading into “Death Wish” which shifts gears towards old school deathgrind and doesn’t mire itself in groove-metallic hardcore throughout. This style should feel familiar for Infernal War fans if you stuck with them through ‘Axiom’ as you’ll instantly recognize the shouts of vocalist Warcrimer across his three main projects. The focus might be more on death metal and hardcorish thrash metal structures but it should be palpably exciting for fans of their related projects.
Though the title track and “High on Hate” are memorable and the hardcore riffs of “Hailing the Devil in Me” will make you want to move, ‘Dark Days of the Soul’ isn’t such a stunning album considering the sheer number of bands capitalizing on classic death/hardcore permutations to breathe life into their sound. The lack of thrash metal attack and a jump back to the mid-paced drum focus of their first album compared to ‘Working Class Misanthropy’ makes for a relatively less intense listen that is only a few steps away from resembling a modern Vader record. Because I was attached to their previous album in a strong way, I found this change in style less interesting and maybe too close to what bands like Acephalix are doing so well. Mileage should vary in that regard but the reversion to their earliest metalcore/hardcore influenced style is largely successful if not entirely to my own taste.
|Released||March 2, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Voidhanger on Facebook|
Always against the current. 3.0/5.0
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