This is easily one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. 2015’s Cloak of Ash was a colossal work, one which I’ve grown to enjoy more and more over the years, and a new album is long overdue. Delivering 64 minutes of material across five new songs, Void Lustre has been worth the wait.
Hope Drone take a post-blackened approach to atmospheric music, crafting lengthy explorations of sound and rich, evocative landscapes for the listener to become absorbed in. Ambient, noise, and post-metal elements are entwined with blackened harshness, creating expressive texture and lengthy songs that are more than any one particular thing.
As the songs unfold with deliberate intent, building tense mood and releasing cathartic violence as they do so, entire worlds are built and destroyed in each compelling track. Ranging from calm beauty to raging aggression, the band are masters of their own environment and are in complete control of where they want to take the material. This is music that deftly incorporates emotion into its very core, intelligently lacing every part of the music with vital energy and feeling. This is ably accomplished no matter what that might look like to the listener; how minimal and light, or complex and heavy, a particular part of a song might be, the band put their all into it. The end result is music that’s highly emotive and atmospheric.
As previously, the band’s singer is caustic and agonised, providing a harsh reminder that no matter what the music is doing there’s a daemonic presence lurking underneath it all.
If Cloak of Ash was blackened art, then Void Lustre is their masterwork. Essential for any extreme metal fan.