Void of Sleep – New World Order (Code666)

Thursday, 8th October 2015
Rating: 7.5/10

Look at those song titles – “The Devil’s Conjuration,” “Slaves Shall Serve,” “Ordo ab Chao.” Has Italy’s Void of Sleep been raiding the collective idea of banks Opeth, Behemoth, and Mayhem? (Note: “The Devil’s Conjuration” is not an Opeth song title, but surely Mr. Akerfeldt would have lunged at such an idea a decade ago.) Such is the mixed bag for Void of Sleep, who are somewhere in the netherworlds of sludgy doom, proggy doom, and occult doom, which makes for occasionally, a linear listen in the form of their second album New World Order, even though there’s ample heft in the riff-and-roll department.

At least from a structure standpoint, Void of Sleep steer clear of many of the bore-a-thon sludge/doom norms, where bands usually settle upon a riff, and run it into the ground. This is where the band’s progressive angle comes in, cuts like “The Devil’s Conjuration” provide a relatively healthy diet of meaty power chords, none of which are particularly earth-shattering, but are spread out enough to where it avoids mundane territory. “Hidden Revelations” is probably the best example of this, finding vocalist/guitarist Andrea “Burdo” Burdisso lay down a carefully plodded clean vocal cadence.

Whereas “Ordo ab Chao” is rather hunkered too much down in the restrictive realms of stoner sludge, it is the closing “Ending Theme” coming in at 14 minutes that bookends New World Order nicely. Presenting a jumbled puzzle of fluctuating chords and 70s moods, the song shoots Void of Sleep into the advanced compositional realms of Opeth and their various influenced-by-bands. And while the song gets a bit long in the teeth (New World Order in itself isn’t a terribly long album, thank goodness for that), it shows that the Italians could pack their wagons for something much more fertile if a song like “Ending Theme” remains their chosen path.

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