Tuesday, February 14, 2017

VOID RITUAL - Spirits of the Black Past review

VOID RITUAL - Spirits of the Black Past

Self Released

Ya know to me starting off your release with a cover song, in this case "Mountains of Might" from IMMORTAL's Blizzard Beasts release, doesn't seem like a good idea. Damm if it doesn't sound exactly like the original. Nothing wrong with cover songs but near the back of the release seems more appropriate. Be that as it may VOID RITUAL is actually a one man project by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Jackson from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Personally I wouldn't consider the American Southwest a kingdom that's grim and frostbitten. I've heard it's a dry heated climate but then the desert can be cold at night.

This is not Jackson's sole creative musical project. He's also been involved with some other past acts plus his other solo project, ANCESTRAL OATH. As for this release of the eight songs, along with the IMMORTAL cover, there's a re-recording of "Holodomor" from his 2014 EP and another re-recorded song "Benevolent Mother" from a 2015 split he did with the band BARSHASKETH. Musically the songs on here are straight up second wave black metal. Yes it's very cold and harsh sounding. That's always a win in my book especially from USBM. 

As far as the subject matter being covered, Jackson has an obsession with man's callousness towards man. The song "Holodomor" in particular is a good example. Holodomor means "extermination by hunger" and the song is an ode to the man-made famine in the Ukraine during the 1930's which killed millions of Ukrainian people. I get the same feeling from "A Mockery of Flesh & Bone", Jackson is not delighting in the misery. Instead it's more of a historical outlook from an outsider with a conscience.

With Jackson's venomous screams and full throat-ed howls it all fits well especially when the music conveys such cold callousness tones as well. On "A Thirsty Delirium" it's almost like he's giving a middle finger to the human race. And frankly what's wrong with that. Minus the IMMORTAL cover and this would've been perfect.

Rating: 4/5



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