Void Moon – On the Blackest of Nights
Posted by Terrible Certainty Zine
It’s been a quiet year over at the Cruz Del Sur headquarters. The reliable label came storming out of the gate with Pharaoh‘s Bury the Light, one of the best albums of 2012, but I’ve not seen much from them since, aside from a (much needed) vinyl reissue of the first Slough Feg record and the underwhelming For the Love of Thugs & Fools from Bible of the Devil. It’s good to see the label’s year draw to a close on a positive note with this solid display of traditional doom from Sweden’s Void Moon.
On the Blackest of Nights is the first full-length from Void Moon and collects tracks from demos and an EP from the last couple years as well as new material. These guys have clearly attended worship at the temple of Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass, and Void Moon are capable disciples. On the Blackest of Nights is a comfortably familiar listen for fans of the genre, but it takes a few spins to recognize the deft execution and charm beneath a rather unassuming surface.
Void Moon does a nice job switching things up throughout the album. Opener “Hammer of Eden” is a sturdy, traditional-leaning headbanger, but then the band drops into a suitably melancholic gait for the doomtastic title track. Aside from these two single-minded polar exceptions On the Blackest of Nights tends to blend these elements within each of the songs, packing each track with a twisting trail of slow, unfolding melodies and midtempo chug. “Cyclops” is the most convincing of these tracks and a real highlight. The band also throws in a pair of interludes in “Psychic Bleeding” and “The Burning Court” which break up proceedings nicely with somber melodies.
The vocals are interesting in that frontman Jonas Gustavsson has a strong voice with range and tackles the material effectively, but you get the feeling he’d be as comfortable fronting a rock band. The bass has a nice presence in the mix and serves as a melodic bridge between the rhythm section and guitar, and the band has a talent for harmonies and memorable hooks. I have a feeling the best is yet to come from Void Moon, but On the Blackest of Nights is a solid first offering and definitely worth investigating.
On the Blackest of Nights is out November 2, 2012 on Cruz Del Sur.