The band’s 2014 EP was very well-received by yours truly, so it’s good to see them return with their first full-length.
Here we have 51 minutes of expansive, sci-fi themed post-metal that continues on where their EP left off, but more refined, more ambitious and generally superior to their already very enjoyable earlier work.
The songs on this album are, (mostly), longer and more developed than their predecessors, showing a band that have progressed well during the last couple of years. I like the obvious thought that has gone into how these tracks are structured, and the band have a strong sense of coherent focus and sense of direction as the songs flow into each other.
The moods, feelings and atmospheres created on II are fostered well by the band and their use of build/release mechanics has only improved over time it seems. The album works as a whole to convey the message in a dense sonic medium, and the soundscapes created by the music are quite evocative.
John, the Void are clearly in no rush with these songs, and this is only a very, very good thing. The well-crafted atmospheres that the songs exude are powerfully wrought and the entire package is a very strong one. I particularly like all of the extra keyboard/noise/etc. enhancements that go into the music, adding an entire other layer of detail to the guitar/drum/bass framework.
The singer’s voice merges with the music seamlessly, despite essentially punctuating the songs with blunt aggression and naked harshness. Like the music, his vocal delivery and overall performance has improved in the two years or so since the band’s EP, and on II he sounds confident and has a forceful, dominant presence that nonetheless does not eclipse the music at all.
The album’s recording is both professional and appropriate to the music, and II stands strong on its own merits. I liked their EP well enough, but this album is on another level from that. It looks like the penultimate sentence in my review of their EP was quite prophetic, and I’m very glad it was too.