Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Golden Void

The extremely, borderline objectionably Sabbath-y Golden Void debut, reviewed last week at Dusted.

Golden Void
Golden Void
Thrill Jockey

Golden Void is named after a Hawkwind song, a guitar and synthesizer freak out from 1975’s Warrior on the Edge of Time, the same album, coincidentally, that provided the name for Lemmy Kilmister’s post-Hawkwind gig (ahem, “Mötorhead”). It’s not a bad point of reference for this excess-loving band of psychedelicists. TrouserPress’s Jim Green enumerates Hawkwind’s virtues as “that gargantuan and impenetrable pre-metal/hardcore drone, those great riffs, that inexorable drive to destinations unknown.” He could just as well be talking about Golden Void.

Yet Golden Void filters 1970s metal-prog bravado through a West Coast underground psych lens, slipping languid blues-tripping guitar solos between monstrous, wall-to-wall riffs, finding a droning center in the most violent onslaughts. Isaiah Mitchell, once of Earthless, gets to sing here, floating an eerie, heavily-echoed, fundamentally serene tenor over lurching, sawed off guitar salvos. Cream’s Jack Bruce is probably the classic model for what he’s doing vocally, the coolness, the trippiness, the nearly crooning gentleness against blistered distortion, but you can hear younger guys like Matt Reed from Mount Carmel and Joel Winter (formerly of Pearls and Brass) trying a similar alchemy. There are some very nice, absolutely nailed harmonic bits in these songs, too, especially the two at the end, “The Curve” and “Atlantis.” The drum-bass-guitar sound is loud, leaning from 1970s hard rock into metal, but the singing is near folky and strikingly melodic.


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