In my stint with Angry Metal Guy, I’ve encountered not one, but two overly congested forms of black metal. I’ve either encountered black metal that goes beyond its initial consume-by date, or I’ve been bombarded by one-man basement metal, with the latter only impressing me here and there. So when I get a 4-song, 34-minute album with two of the songs dipping below the 7-minute mark, let’s just say the hairs on my neck and back shoot up straighter than those on Don King’s head. And yet, here we are with the self-titled debut album from the Polish one-man armada, Over The Voids. Let’s dissect this thing, shall we?

The good news is that, unlike most black metal albums, lone musician Michał saw fit to put the longest song first, as if to rip the bandage off quick and easy. “Battle of Heaven” starts off sounding like a great tribute to the second wave of Norwegian black metal, with a riff that contains more than a few subtle nods to Ulver and Darkthrone. The problem is Michał beats that main riff to the ground for over four minutes of the song’s thirteen-minute length. When the song switches gears to add some much-needed atmosphere, it’s a welcome reprieve… until that gets beaten to the ground as well. Finally, as the song fades out, we are treated to a somber, beautiful acoustic interlude that should have been maybe a minute and a half, and not the four minutes it took to wrap up.

This lack of self-awareness permeates throughout the album’s entirety, crippling what should have been a potent tribute to icy days gone by. “Prophet of the Winter” opens with an absolutely blistering tremolo riff that is rendered impotent by the time it hits the two minute mark. Thankfully, some acoustic reprieves in the song’s middle and end pull it back up to the level of listenable. Closer “Never Again Will They Hunger” contains some serene, if a bit out of place, clean vocals, but also some of the most repetitious riffing stretched out over eight minutes. Finally, “Ghosts Lay Eggs,” besides containing one of the goofiest song titles that makes me wonder about Pac-Man’s dietary choices, takes a song that should have been three or four minutes tops and stretches it to exactly six minutes.

But, for black metal, at least this sounds somewhat decent. Michał’s a capable musician and vocalist, and I commend his skill with drums and guitars, especially when it comes to the acoustic portions. I would commend him on his bass playing, but it rarely makes an appearance. What I take umbrage with is in the lack of self-editing. I have no problems with songs that go for extended lengths. Bell Witch and Hell, despite being doom metal, recently put out albums containing tracks that hold your interest throughout their excessively long runtimes. They do this by creating atmosphere, switching up their riffs, and trying their damnedest to not beat you over the head with repetition unless absolutely necessary. Writing a long song simply because you can doesn’t mean that you necessarily should.

And it pains me to say that, as Michał has an interesting proposition here with Over The Void. If he can rein in the songwriting a bit, he would have a tighter, more concise album. As it stands, though, I don’t see myself coming back to this album at all. But I will say it’s one of the better one-man black metal bands I’ve heard, and thank fooking goodness he didn’t try to jump on the Deathspell Omega bandwagon. Perhaps next time will do the trick.

 


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Nordvis Produktion
Website: facebook.com/overthevoids
Release Dates: EU: 2017.11.17 | NA: 11.24.2017

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  • GrumpDumpus

    DON’T LOOK A DEAD HORSE IN THE MOUTH DON’T LIE

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    “Get Over the ‘Roids”
    Use Preparation H®️

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    “Voids”? It’s the first time ever I see the word void in plural. One void should be enough.

    • Less is more in the void.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        How can less be more? That’s impossible! (Hell, I love quoting Yngwie Malmsteen!). It’s impossible either in the void or in the voids.

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          Either way…..this is one to a-void.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            a-one to a-void

    • herrschobel

      lol…this made me laugh so hard…

    • sir_c

      You have a-void and d-void.

    • basenjibrian

      Well…if Michal is massive enough to be a “one man armada” he is massive enough to create voidS.

    • Ingrid Annett Salomonsen

      a swiss cheese is full of voids….

  • hallowed

    Over the Voids and far away.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Enjoy of deep voids

    • Solrac Avan

      Run to the Voids?

    • Tofu muncher

      Waste Voids?

  • Monsterth Goatom

    That Unicorn needs a pair of Stove Top Stuffing pants.

  • wayne the devil

    New Ketha album!!!!-to celebrate all things Polish that are not Behemoth…a random themed name drop….Happy Friday to all!

    • Grymm

      My brain always autocorrects their name to Ke$ha, and that’s not right or accurate.

  • Unwanted Guest

    Considering from this review and previous one, Grymm should avoid cascadian black metal, ambient black metal, some atmospheric black metal. Those are not suitable for your taste. If you got a chance to get another sample of the genre, you should pass it. It won’t make you write a good review.

    What do you think about other masterpieces of the genre. For example, Fauna’s Avifauna, Skagos’s Anarchic, Altar Of Plagues’s White Tomb, Addaura’s Burning For The Ancient, Battle Dagorath’s Cursed Storm of Ages, etc, etc…

    • pfk505

      Some of the reviewers on this site are objectively bad. Case in point: this review neglects to even mention the artist’s connection to Mgła, which would seem to be a fairly relevant detail. But nope, just disparaging remarks about “bedroom black metal” (hey, there’s one guy in the band so that must mean he made it in his bedroom)…

      It’s like watching the local news when they do a story on something you’re actually involved with or have extensive knowledge of. All you can do is throw your hands up as they get pretty much every detail wrong.

      • Unwanted Guest

        I didn’t know M was involved in this album. I searched and verified it with an interview. I’m really impressed how M never misses any point. I recently bought a record he had produced. Anima Damnata – Nefarious Seed Grows… and it is one of my best blackened death metal albums in recent years of this century! I like polish black metal and how important MGLA is for black metal in general.

        So, the connection with M shouldn’t be overlooked. You are right.

        I like to read reviews on this site when a specialist or open-minded reviewer write it.

      • Thanks for the valuable feedback.