Call of The Void – Buried In Light (Translation Loss Records)Sunday, 19th May 2019
Disgust and rage are as valid forms of emotional expression as anything else on the spectrum. They can result in multidimensional, moving expressions of nihilism (something that is, unfortunately, common enough in the world). Likewise by the same token they can be incredibly one-dimensional, a long-form temper tantrum you occasionally see in a grocery store. Unfortunately for Call of The Void, Buried In Light more often than not trends toward the latter expression, particularly in its back half.
Like many listening experiences in 2019, Buried In Light does not lend itself to a single, focused genre space but instead is a classic center sphere in a Vinn Diagram of related but similar influences. Grind, d-beat, crust, and even industrial tinges are among the sonic colors the band draws upon to paint its bleak, cacophonous experience. In practical terms, however, Buried In Light can be considered on a continuum somewhere between Nails and Watchmaker, with its sensibilities leaning more to the former. As touched on in the beginning, the album’s strengths are focused in its first half.
“Disutility” is a blackened-death-scorched-earth barrel bomb that wastes zero time in opening the door of your expectations and booting a thick size 13 boot between your ears. It’s followed up with a stellar, groove-laden (the bass is goddamn filthy) “Suck Me Dry”, and builds an effective cadence between its verses and the eponymous group shout that might almost count as a chorus. Both of these tracks are lethal in impact. They’re both also under three minutes in length. Mid-point “God Hunts” dials back the hyperdrive and unleashes a break that will likely result in at least a few concussions at tour stops this summer. Album closer “So It Ends”, while born under the crucible-by-fire drive of much of the album, does eventually give way to what can only be thought of at one deity or another shaking its head, thoroughly done with its creation. It’s a visceral, righteous way to end things.
And that’s good, because in general, from the aforementioned ”God Hunts” onward, things blur together. The rage-is-on mentality of course is likely intentional and there is some validity to the approach, it speaks to a bigger issue: the album is way too long. 45 minutes is a long time to wail and gnash the way Call of The Void wails and gnashes and keep things interesting. Nails is fitting in their kill all the things approach, but keeping at significantly less than a half hour indulgence.
You win some, you lose some. Buried In Light is instead the sonic expression of instead losing them all so maybe it’s fitting that it’s all full speed wrath. If that’s the kind of day or year you’re having, it may be all you need.