Church Of Void - Church Of Void - (6/10)
Published on October 27, 2017
Argonauta Records recommend Church Of Void’s self-titled album to fans of Saint Vitus, Pentagram and The Birthday Party. Those are pretty accurate reference points, but Church Of Void also has a hefty dose of Cathedral and is often more lively than standard Doom fare. Argonauta may use the same PR people as Marmite, as in describing the band, they assert that “people either love or loathe them”. Without deliberately setting out to contradict this statement, after listening to the album I have no such strong feelings and fall nowhere near either of those extremes.
This is yet another of those albums that isn’t bad, has no weak songs, but also lacks the wow factor that would make it recommended listening. The upbeat doom of “Passing The Watchtower”, with some Sabbath-y riffing, the touch of Cathedral-like groove in “Harlot’s Dream” and the Eastern-flavoured lead guitar in closing track “World Eater” are perfectly fine, but they don’t do enough to entice you to listen again and again. The similarity to Cathedral is most evident in “Lovecraft”, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Dorrian and company’s “Oliver Cromwell”, although halfway through the track the band abandons that path and we get a long instrumental section which is pure progressive rock, with some fairly psychedelic-sounding leads. It’s intriguing and shows signs of improvement, but still not a keeper.
The lets-go-all-instrumental-halfway-through-the-track approach is also used on “Moonstone”, which switches from gloomy hard rock to a long, self-indulgent, but enormously enjoyable guitar solo with a classic rock edge. “Moonstone” is good, but it’s not Church Of Void‘s finest moment. That honour goes to “Beast Within”. The opening bars sound like the start of a Death Metal song, in fact I’m sure I’ve heard something very much like it, but trawling through various tracks by Death, Grave, Massacre, etc haven’t uncovered the answer. The song stands out not because of this brief and very small hint of Death Metal, but because it’s lively, more interesting than most of the music here, has a good chorus and some great lead guitar.
Church Of Void don’t play things by the book and have some surprises up their sleeve, but only occasionally do they manage to deliver on their promise. There’s plenty of creativity and originality on show, but Church Of Void is a few good songs short of a high rating.