|Review: Beyond Black Void - Desolate|
Label: Marche Funebre Productions
Year released: 2006
Originally released in: 2003
Genre: Funeral Doom
Review online: August 21, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Beyond Black Void is yet another project of prolific Until Death Overtakes Me main man Stijn Van Cauter (with the recently reviewed The Ethereal being another one of his projects). If you thought I made The Ethereal album sound severe, this takes the biscuit on all counts of harsh desolation with its funeral droning void-like music. Jesus, even the cover art (depicting a strange satellite-like object projecting a beam of light across a vast, misty desolate landscape, all under the greyest of grey skies) depicts exactly what you can expect from the music — otherworldly, oppressive and minimalist to the nth degree.
Alongside bands such as Bunkur and Sunn 0))), this just has to be the alpha omega of droning funeral doom extremity, seemingly dredging the deepest of pits of human emotion for its inspiration, and purifying it into a new incomprehensible overload of despondency. Guitar-lines echo and chime, cleverly utilizing silence as an instrument amongst the occasional chord smashes and bombastic drum explosions littered sparsely throughout each drawn out track (the longest of which 'Storm Over Jupiter' clocking in over 31 minutes in length). Guitars are layered beautifully, at times slicing through the silence sharply, resonating and reverberating for literally seconds afterwards, whilst you await the next turn of events in each intelligently mapped out dirge like a gripping novel. Vocally, it's the guttural murmur of Stijn which is used once again, although vocals are used very infrequently here so as not to upset the mantra-like feel of the album as a whole. Compared to the sparse usage of drums in Stijn's other projects, Beyond Black Void has around 4, maybe 5 drum hits the whole album(!), which should give you further idea of what you'll be dealing with when hitting play for the first time.
Not for the faint of heart by any means, and definitely not for those who have attention problems. The impenetrably eerie song arrangements are where the beauty lies in this release, producing a nightmare-like, overwhelmingly feverish atmosphere, which although is enjoyable enough for seasoned doom veterans, may cause severe problems for those of a weaker disposition.
Desolate acts as a gateway to another realm of existence, where you're held helplessly captivated in the grip of sheer monolithic ambience for the albums run time. Both hypnotizing and horrifying, this is great stuff.
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|Review: Desolate (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)|
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