Moral Void - DepriveLast year’s Nails record was as blunt as they come. It’s rare that a band can generate enough hype — and then live up to it — that they can brazenly assert their superiority without being a laughingstock. But the trio did just that, leaving an open challenge to would-be peers in the title track of You Will Never be One of Us. When Moral Void heard the refrain, they thumbed their noses at the speakers. “Fuck you, Todd Jones,” they said, “yes we will.”

With two EPs and a split with Young and in the Way under their belts, I found it odd that I hadn’t come across the Chicago trio’s music before. But here it is, a full–length album, Deprive, which bites at the heels of more established acts and will hopefully pitch the band headlong into the city’s grimy basement scene, so long devoid of its old stalwarts, Weekend NachosDeprive follows a formula not wholly unlike any of the aforementioned artists. It’s heavy, pissed off, and aggressive at a fundamental level; a mix of powerviolence, crust, and black metal that absolutely sears the eardrums. This is that thing called “blackened hardcore.”

If you’ve ever referred to a riff as “hard,” this album will be right up your alley. “Harvest” and “Callous” spend the first four minutes of the album educating the listener as to what “hard” means: crusty, distorted, and pugilistic. “Prey” leans heavily on the crust riff rhythm while churning in some extra darkness, drawing up a crackling mound of dirt and ash. The band is no less convincing when they stray into sludge; “Shadow” evokes Trap Them at their ragged best, losing no intensity to its muted tempo and admitting a bit of rhythmic relief into an album that’s pretty content to dish crust left and right.

Moral Void 2017

In the end, that’s my greatest complaint about Deprive; it’s really crusty, which means that the same rhythm is on display for about half of the runtime. If you write the tabs out in morse code, crust songs are just a string of Rs. When Moral Void go for different rhythms, it really works for them, like in the beginning of closer “Martyr,” a song that starts and ends with a great riff but loses personality to its d-beat midsection. That being said, if you’re a more of a d-beat aficionado than I, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this album and its obvious but effective melding of crust rhythm and blackened leads.

Moral Void are by no means innovative; what’s on display here isn’t done to death, but neither is it very distinct from the output of powerviolence titans and countless smaller groups that I’m simply not scene-saturated enough to know about. This by no means discounts Deprive‘s value. We all need music like this sometimes – both as a therapeutic expression of turmoil and a satisfying dive into d-beat kineticism. This music is made to be played sweaty and live, or at the very least belligerent and loud. After all, if you don’t piss off your neighbors from time to time, can you really be said to be living?


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Translation Loss Records
Websites: moralvoid.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/moralvoid
Releases Worldwide: August 11th, 2017

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  • John Mosley

    Too krusty for me.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    I don’t mind where this is taking me.

    • [not a Dr]

      To the realm of non-bold lower-case?

      • Master of Muppets

        Which, as usual, I mind greatly.
        Henceforth, Minimalist_Compartment it is.

      • Name’s Dalton

        Strange, I know. Is this lounge music?

      • herrschobel

        haha…yeah the Brutalist got all soft and lower case lounging to this

  • lennymccall

    Totally up my alley, went in assuming i’d dig it but it just didn’t grab me…oh well.

  • The Akerstache
  • metalcasket

    Completely unrelated to this review, but any chance of AMG reviewing Venom Inc.?

    • Kronos

      Don’t think we got promo for anything of that nature.

      • metalcasket

        Welp…unsurprising since its Nuclear Blast and all.

        • Kronos

          I’m sure they’ll send us a stream three days after release

  • Innit Bartender

    My faith in pure trveness band photo is restored.

    • Nag Dammit

      Unicorn bait.

    • Name’s Dalton

      It is an excellent photo.

  • Bryan Barkman

    Enjoyed the review, but I must strongly disagree that “We all need music like this sometimes”. My blender, coffee grinder and bread machine are a more musical trio.

  • Slam Grandpa

    Hmph, some whippersnappers saying we don’t need more music like this, Black Metal/Crust is something that I’ve taken a liking to ever since listening to Ancst’s Moloch from last year, hearing that this is very crusty and kvlt I’ll enjoy this record a lot

  • Master of Muppets

    Fever Sea wore the same album art better on their EP The Deluge. This sounds promising, but that particular detail is irking the shit out of me.

  • herrschobel

    very solid….i agree that sometimes we need something like this…i seem to need it more often than most people…3.5 for my crusty tastes. solid review. i am glad stuff like this counterbalances all the Power/Folk/Clown /Costume whatever metal on this lovely site … crust to the people!