- Year 2017
- Genre Blackened HardcoreSludge
- Country USA
- Label Translation Loss Records
- Rating Solid
Since the good old days in 80’s and 90’s, heavy music has been branching out and establishing the sounds and styles of the different sub genres we know today. These days, we see bands once again consolidate the various ideas into one and it often results in some of the most extreme sounding metal these days. This often leaves people who prefer to categorize their music confused as to where a particular album needs to be slotted. Such is a conundrum I face while writing about Chicago based trio Moral Void and their debut full length ‘Deprive’. While other reviewers have called it everything from blackened metalcore to black metal and sludge, the album contains all of those elements in tandem. Whatever you may want to call it, what matters at the end of the day is the music; and man, is it good!
Though one might be able to pick apart the styles that dominate the influences in different tracks, Moral Void manage to tie everything into a distinct, coherent sound.
The band opens things up with a double shot of aggression in Harvest and Callous, where Moral Void set the stage by showing where their core sound lies. Armed with short hardcore punk riffs mixed with the occasional blackened lick thrown in, these tracks fly by quick leaving the listener out of breath and with a sore neck. The pace turns sludgy with the aptly named Drudge as heavy monolithic riffs dictate a slow procession passing by some atmospheric and dissonant guitar work. Though one might be able to pick apart the styles that dominate the influences in different tracks, Moral Void manage to tie everything into a distinct, coherent sound.
The atmosphere on this record is oppressive and harsh, and it aligns perfectly with the vocalist’s acidic screams. Each track is imbibed with its own distinct character, be it the borderline grindcore Dust or the black thrash – d beat hybrid that is Frail. The later half of the album is skewed a bit towards the sludge side as the tracks get longer and the riffs get slower and heavier. Moral Void are quite adept at holding the listener’s attention through the claustrophobic soundscape as evidenced by almost 8 minute long Shadow. It is the way all the different elements come together, which is the biggest cause of intrigue in this record.
Usually debut records set the direction for a band. With ‘Deprive’, Moral Void have created a debut record that seems to amalgamate all the band’s influences. From here, the band may choose to continue in this path of amalgamation or they might choose to emphasize one aspect of their sound, when it comes to future releases. Which ever the case it may be, one this is for sure – I will be waiting to hear more from Moral Void.