Tedium. Life's full of it. That's one reason our race invented music, like Metal, to escape from tedium. Music either excites us for entertainment or incites a feeling of aural transcendence. This Belgian duo aims for the latter, but fails to distinguish music from tedium.
Now Black Metal is generally more repetitive than most genres, but not to this point. By this band's moniker, TRANCELIKE VOID, we see it purposes to hypnotize the listener with simple riffs played over and over, with the same drum pattern throughout each song, buffered by ambient tracks. Repeating evocative riffs works great, but this band uses mediocre riffs to stretch out over the course of several minutes. This doubles the suffering of a listener left waiting for something else to happen.
I was neither entranced by this music nor did I experience any mental void, given the claustrophobic vocal and guitar production; just uninspired strumming of power chords. The ambient tracks let me catch my breath, but they didn't break the monotony at all. Some would say that this album functions better as whole this way, and I agree. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but this whole isn't that great to begin with.
I write this as an avid fan of XASTHUR, so I'm not unfamiliar with bands that strive for similar purposes as this one. I do concede that I don't like NORTT, and in a band photo for TRANCELIKE VOID, a member is wearing a NORTT shirt. Fans of that band should perhaps take note. Otherwise, be relieved that you don't have one more new album to check out for this year.
(Online June 28, 2008)