voidspawn - pyrrhicIt is, perhaps, a strange coincidence that Voidspawn is both the name of the subject of today’s 487 words and a track from Chthe’ilist‘s well-received album also of this year. Both bands draw strongly from Demilich and are comparable in their bleak and cavernous interpretation of death metal. But unlike Le Dernier Crépuscule this is but a 13-minute EP, with a debut full-length reportedly in the works. While I have a short-list of worthy EPs which I plan to compile for an end-of-year post, I felt I couldn’t miss this opportunity to describe to you why you should part ways with $3 and get very fucking excited.

The heart of the black magic cast over Pyrrhic is its sound. Now I know this appears a redundant observation but this goes beyond melody, instrumentation or structure. Or maybe it precedes these. What I mean is that it sounds evil. Oppressive. Monstrous. A cloying sense of darkness bleeds from its every orifice and it’s quite unlike anything I’ve heard before, despite compositionally not falling far from Chthe’ilist or Blood Incantation. While the songwriting and instrumentation plainly contribute to this, I think most credit can be attributed to the production. I don’t know if there was a dedicated producer or (as I suspect) if the band undertook these duties themselves but their vision was realized in the arrangement of the album. Pyrrhic is simultaneously punchy and immediate but will also wrap you up in its dark folds. It has heft and feels like it should be alienating but it nonetheless draws you in. The mix is thick but the instrumental weighting is perfect. Sure, it could be more dynamic but when everything else is so well produced such criticism is insignificant.

Every other part of the music is geared towards facilitating this murkiness and mystery. The guitar feedback and tones are huger than Steel Druhm‘s appetite for burly men wielding swords. This is particularly noticeable in the slower, doomier moments opening “Sisyphean Ideation” and “Fervent Vitriol towards the Public Moralist.” The faster bits are appropriately intimidating and build rock solid walls around the listener, such as on “Pyrrhic.” In lieu of a better way of describing it, the upwards inflection on the ends of chords is weird but gripping, and dissonance is used to great effect. Importantly too, the vocals are muddy and poorly defined; perfect for the atmosphere.

There aren’t enough descriptive words to impress on you how colossal Voidspawn is. This is confidently my favorite EP from the year and these 13 minutes are among the best I’ve heard in 2016. It almost seems unfair to other full-length albums as at 13 minutes troughs to complement the peaks are unnecessary and there’s not a moment wasted on even the slightest filler – but I’ve gushed in a manner which corresponds with my enjoyment. Chthe’ilist? Nope. This is the best Demilich-core this year.


Rating: Great
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Unsigned (re-releasing through Unspeakable Axe Records)
Websites: facebook.com/voidspawn | voidspawn.bandcamp.com
Releases worldwide: July 31st, 2016 (through Unspeakable Axe Records September 1st, 2016)

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  • The Unicorn (Blueberry Balls)

    This is quite good.

    • Thatguy

      Yes. In the true sense of entirely good.

  • Frost15

    The embedded track is awesome. Gorguts, Ulcerate vibes and Demilich”ish”kind of musical structure. Love it.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    This EP > Pleiade’s Dust

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Not to play into the lack of attention span stereotype, but 13 min > 30+ min.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        I just shuddered internally thinking back to that one EP Spectral Lore released that was like an hour long.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Nah, mate. This is quite good, though.

    • SegaGenitals

      Gasp!

    • Matthew

      It’s good, but not THAT good.

  • Dion Ka

    This is great. I’m looking forward to the album!

  • METAL OTTER

    The band should give away $10 with each purchase of the EP, to ensure the EP’s success would be won at too great a cost.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    This is my kind of evil! I gave it a listen, and now I feel icky all over and need to take a shower.

    The thing on the cover somewhat resembles the thing on the cover of Decomposed’s Wither.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Glad you guys have reviewed this as it’s worthy of more attention. I’m really looking forward to hearing what they do over the length of an album. album

  • Adjudant

    This one is actually scary, in the reason you watch a horror movie kind of way

  • High praise indeed. Will check out.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Isn’t it baffling how more and more music influenced by Demilich is being released now, over 20 years after they released their only full lenght album?

    • El_Cuervo

      They were so far ahead of the curve. Their stuff pushed DM in ways it hadn’t been previously and now they’re getting recognition.

  • Elton Chagas

    Savage track. I really dig this kind of cavernous Death Metal.

  • Requiem

    This made me want to listen to Father Befouled- Revulsion of Seraphic Grace again.