Recorded and mastered by Jamie Hansen. Mixed by Jamie Hansen and the band. Album recorded May—September 2008. This album is dedicated to Patrick Sova and the memory of Nate Martin. Released on Crimes Against Humanity Records.
When it comes to metal I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy. I always want to like what I’m listening to, particularly if it’s from a band that I’ve never heard before or from a genre that I’m not familiar. I’m always willing to be surprised, willing to be amazed, willing to hear something new and interesting.
I’m also a guitarist myself, and a singer, and I’ve written a handful of songs, so I have an appreciation of the skill required to play in a band, and to be creative. While I may have judged bands (of any genre) very harshly in my early days of listening to music, I remember a moment when I was about 15 or 16 when I realised that band X wasn’t “utterly crap” but that rather the music simply didn’t connect with or move me.
That’s what I experienced with this album by Wisconsin-based band Desolatevoid. There are some good riffs, a few moments that made me think, “Oh! I really like that” but they were so fleetingly short that I was left feeling rather more disappointed than apathetic. Deep down it seems to me there is a good album in there waiting to get out.
“Cuts, bruises, and an empty wallet”, for example, has some really nice doom riffs but they are played too fast. These in turn are then sandwiched between some cheeky punk-esque riffs that, to my ears, ruin the song. It’s like dropping a sample of “Barbie World” into “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
“Wreckage of yesterday” has a great arpeggioed opening that reminded me British thrash band Xentrix that then descends into, to quote my mum, a lot of noise and shouting.
“Way past wits end” reminds me of New York hardcore band Sick of It All. For about a minute, before again the riff gives way to a wall of double-time kick drums and a coughing guitars.
With a little more imagination these songs could have been really interesting and gone interesting places, but they all seem to end up as the kind of generic thrash songs that I used to get slagged off liking for by my peers at school: three chords played as furiously as possible on the most over-driven guitar available.
Ironically, the song that I enjoyed the most, “Fucked and furious” begins with a dull riff played on a horrible fuzz guitar sound before suddenly kicking in with possibly the best riff on the whole album.
It would be too easy to conclude this review with something like: I can sum up this album with two words, the first begins with ‘d’, the second has four letters. Desolatevoid: disappointinglyshit.
But that would be unfair. There are some good moments in this album’s 30 minutes and 36 seconds, but for me they are too far apart to get excited about it. It feels more like a demo in places and songs, to my ears, simply don’t sound complete enough. Which is a real shame because I wanted to like this album. The band are tight, the guitars sound great, the vocal are solid (if you are into that death grunt sound), it’s just the songs that let them down.
Review score: 50%