Engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered at Hutchinsounds Productions, Cullowhee, North Carolina, USA. This album was recorded in the autumn months, 2022. Released on 25 January 2023
For fans of Bathory, Voivod, Celtic Frost
Voidgazer is the second release from mountain-dwelling, speed metal marauders Oblivion Throne from Asheville, North Carolina (USA). Their unique brand of speed metal draws on a myriad of influences from Saxon to Candlemass to Death and Darkthrone.
The EP opens with the majestically epic “Honorable death (Intro)” (track 1) which is a melancholic funereal march with more than a nod to metal pioneers Celtic Frost. This morphs into the galloping “Lust for steel” (track 2) which has all the energy of a NWOBHM Saxon classic. The song little too much reverb for my liking, making it sound like it was recorded in the London Underground, but I expect it was the vibe they were going for.
“Voidgazer” (track 3) opens with some godawful screech before bursting into a raucous and franticly twisted riff. Again, the production is consistent with the previous track but it loses something of the impact of the song when the guitars are much further forward in the mix. With a better mix, this could be so much more.
“Souls ensnared” (track 4) rounds out the EP with a fast picked number accompanied by an 80s-style riff and barked vocals. The inclusion of chorus vocals (or is it just that pesky reverb whacked up full tilt?) takes the song to new places as does the closing solo which builds emotion. Along with the opening track, this is my favourite song on the release.
With better production, I’m sure this could be a more powerful statement. But as it is, the playing is stellar and the song writing solid even if there isn’t much in terms of new ideas. But hey! who needs new ideas when the songs are as fun as these.
Review score: 65%
MDPR contacted me inviting me to preview Oblivion Throne’s forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either MDPR or Oblivion Throne. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Zach from MDPR, and to Oblivion Throne for continuing to create fresh, exciting metal.