A younger act’s debut full-length might be thrilling on many ranges. You’re there on the beginning of one thing, the leaping off level for a profession of unknown fortunes. Generally you’ll be able to scent greatness even on the earliest works, and different occasions humble beginnings provide no trace of the good issues to come back. The promo materials for Toronto’s Gutvoid aren’t shy about promising huge issues for this upstart loss of life metallic outfit. Phrases like “titanic” and “stellar” are dropped and far hype is created for Durance of Lightless Horizons. And there may be some fact within the PR puffery (for as soon as), as what the band delivers is loaded with potential and the promise of massive issues. The generally proggy, generally customary mix of loss of life and doom the band dabble in is attention-grabbing and unpredictable. The expertise stage is excessive and there’s a relentless sense that they’re rubbing up towards greatness and poised to drop the hammer of magnitude on you as solely the perfect can. However there are trials and tribulations awaiting each younger band, and it’s an extended method to the highest if you wish to loss of life n’ roll.
The best way opener “Coils of Gasoline Hewn Filament” shortly wraps its oily, doom-crusted tentacles round you and begins to pull you into the brackish tide is masterful. The eerie keyboards are a pleasant contact and used sparingly for optimum influence. Brendan Dean’s booming loss of life roars remind of Swallow the Solar‘s Mikko Kotamäki’s and the riffs heave from sludgy, doomy meanderings to Bolt Thrower tank assault mode in a flash. There’s so much happening over the tune’s practically 10-minute run and far of it is vitally good. The brew of melodic and discordant guitar traces is dizzying and the ebb and circulate works. It runs too lengthy, however the journey is an excellent one. Followups like “In Caverns It Lurks” and “Delivered to the Altar Lich” use the identical template however with considerably diminished returns. There are cool, memorable bits and items in each tracks, referencing Witherscape and early days Amorphis, however the entire is lower than the sum of its elements and there’s a way of detachment that hits me at sure factors. I like what I’m listening to at any given second however not essentially the songs themselves. Each really feel too stretched out as effectively, with a noticeable drag by the top.
It’s not till “Skeletal Glyph” that Gutvoid totally unleash on the listener, dialing up the proggy tendencies solely hinted at beforehand and going all in with an adventurous mind blast that feels like a cross between Headshrinker and cult loss of life legends Demilich. Uber brutal loss of life croaks soak into frantic, jangled riffs and off-kilter rhythms and the tune writhes and flops round like a dying mega-squid. It’s this tune greater than any that reveals what Gutvoid are able to and what the longer term may maintain for them. It’s each spectacular and irritating, as the majority of Durance feels restrained and overly secure by comparability. Mammoth 15-minute nearer “Wandering Dungeon” encapsulates all of the potential and pitfalls within the Gutvoid expertise. There are lots of attention-grabbing moments – a chopping riff right here, a slick time change there. Issues leap round and maintain you guessing, however there’s an inclination to settle into droning riffs patterns and the final 3-4 minutes are primarily simply this sort of fluff. It’s not an incredible tune however the good elements are sturdy sufficient to maintain you listening anyway. At 54 minutes Durance feels overlong and bloat impacts many of the songs. Slice 10 minutes off this beast and you’ve got a really completely different expertise.
Gutvoid are clearly a gifted bunch. Daniel Bonofiglio and Brendan Dean are very expert riff writers and good at crafting darkish, doomy atmospherics with discordant but nonetheless vaguely melodic taking part in. They create hellish and eerie vibes throughout this factor and may conjure darkish emotions with the perfect of them. Dean is a top-notch loss of life vocalist too, going from stage to stage of Hell and approaching the Earth’s core at occasions. Justin Boehm’s bass could be very current and an element within the band’s sound, including a beefy anchor and a darker edge. There’s not a lot to knock them on past the artwork of restraint and songcraft itself. They attempt to inject an excessive amount of mass into every composition, dragging and stretching issues out too far and filling within the gaps with droning, overly repetitious concepts. Fortunately, this can be a correctable situation (in case your title isn’t Metallica).
Durance of Lightless Horizons teases with a cosmic fuck-ton of promise however by no means totally delivers. Gutvoid are a band nonetheless testing their legs and discovering their stride and with a while and restraint, they’re able to dropping a world eater on us. Take into account Durance a downpayment on that promise. It’s not excellent and it has ugly warts, however the writing is on the wall and it’s an entertaining learn, warts and all.