Album Review: Call of the Void – “Ageless”

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On their second album Ageless, Denver’s Call of the Void return after two years with another twelve songs of metallic hardcore mixed with crust and a touch of sludge. Ageless works with a similar formula as its predecessor used, with a small amount of space and length added to song structures. The band has a pretty obvious set of influences, and the guys don’t really break the mold on Ageless any more than they did with their first album, but it’s still as well-crafted an album as any made by their peers.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Call of the Void’s first record, Dragged Down a Dead End Path, got me through a few angst-filled months of my life when it came out in 2013. Music in this genre tends to be cathartic, though there seems to be less caustic anger on Ageless than on its predecessor. It’s also slower in tempo overall, with fewer tracks that lean grindcore and more that incorporate crusty drumbeats and slower riffs. There aren’t any songs nearly as full of vitriol as “I Hope You Two Fuck,” either, which is a bit of a shame.

The first three tracks on Ageless—“Old Hate,” “Truth in Bone” and “The Sun Chaser”—set the tone for the rest of the album by integrating faster, grindcore-inspired moments with sections that roll along at a slightly slower tempo, and sludge riffs. There are some brief moments in “Old Hate” and “Sun Chaser” where the band speeds up until it hits a breaking point that sounds a bit like blast beats—a move that enlivens both tracks considerably. The rest of the album follows in similar suit. “R.I.S.” is pretty fast and contains Ageless’s single guitar solo. There’s also strangely placed piano interlude, “II,” that makes me think the album is over each time I hear it.

By the time we get to “Cold Hands,” all the songs have started running into one another without any really standing out from the rest, though the final track “Ageless” ends the album well. It has a beginning section that’s heavily reminiscent of something off KEN mode’s Entrench, in that the quasi-melody of the vocals follows the guitar and sets them against rolling drums, before falling back into the crusty sound so typical to Ageless, with the album’s title roared over-top all the while.

Call of the Void are part of a post-Converge generation of bands (see also: Nails, Trap Them, their current tour-mates Enabler) that play versions of “metal-ed up” hardcore, while throwing in their choice of other influences in the hopes of distinguishing them from the rest. Comparisons will likely reveal that these differences are often superficial, and if you like one of these bands, you probably don’t mind the rest. While it probably won’t convert anyone to the genre, Ageless is still a fairly strong showing and will likely find a group of willing fans.

-Joy


Ageless is out on February 10 on Relapse Records. For more on Call of the Void, visit the band’s Facebook page.

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.

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