Void Rot – Consumed by Oblivion (2018) REVIEW

In the late 1980’s the simultaneous discovery of galaxy filaments in the field of physical cosmology coincided with the earliest releases in the field of death doom metal. What might seem like an innate coincidence begs a closer look as the parallels are multitudinous. A galaxy filament is a dense cluster of gravity-bound galaxies that appear to form as chains, linking across long stretches of empty space (void) and their discovery not only lead to a better understanding of the largest structures in the known universe but likewise increased the known tracts of emptiness surrounding life. The understanding is that both logical forms of physical matter and ‘nothingness’ physically exist in seeming impossible, ever shifting scale. As the cosmos’ scope elucidated itself to humanity’s ever-struggling ranks of curiosity so did the decades reveal increasing expansion in the realm of death/doom metal’s sonic fidelity, extremity and scale.

Did the discovery of the CfA2 Great Wall in 1989 bring about the cosmic formative releases of death/doom legends Sempiternal Deathreign, Apparition and Winter that same year? Consider the discovery of the large quasar group U1.11 in 2011 and the equally huge releases from Esoteric and Krypts that same year. Of course what I’m suggesting is phenomenally stupid and I couldn’t get the years to match up all that well but, instead consider Minneapolis, Minnesota death/doom modernists Void Rot a freshly conceived crack at cosmically adrift influences. A stream of noisome vibrancy connecting atmospheric death metal and old school death/doom forms their debut EP ‘Consumed By Oblivion’.

The easiest galaxies to chain together in modeling Void Rot‘s sound incorporate the fog-machine death/doom antics of Spectral Voice, the increasingly expansive atmospherics of Krypts, and the lumbering, slower moments of Ataraxy. Although their sound is heavy, their style is straightforward, almost demonstrative, and doesn’t yet ‘move with purpose’ beyond that confident heaviness. The chugs portent greater doom but only create one seemingly constant motion across three five minute slow-motion salvos, without any greater statement made. The dragging, growling heaviness of ‘Consumed by Oblivion’ is satisfying enough for an introduction but it wouldn’t hold up on a 45 minute album if repeated. In this already wildly successful year for underground death metal, groups like Shrine of the Serpent and Convocation have raised the bar high and I’m not sure Void Rot‘s EP will be incredibly memorable in the long run.

Taken as a formative release and professional introduction, ‘Consumed by Oblivion’ is however an encouraging meeting. This is exactly the sort of discovery I like to get on board with as the project appears because their style and influences suggest greater ambition and development over time. That isn’t to say this release will read as ‘not quite there’ to every listener, and in fact the hollow drum sound, occasionally spaced-out guitar work, and deep growls will likely excite Krypts and Spectral Voice fans immediately. So, my own opinion comes with a need for more depth beyond ‘sound’ and with no great dissatisfaction with the style and intention of the music. A band to follow closely in the future.

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Artist Void Rot
Type EP
Released August 3, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Everlasting Spew Records’ Bandcamp! [CD, Digital]

BUY/LISTEN on Sentient Ruin Laboratories’ Bandcamp! [Cassette, US Vinyl]

Follow Void Rot on Facebook
Genre Death Doom Metal

Dormant prions incubate. 3.25/5.0

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