Time is limited and always fleeting, while new metal seems to rush at us in a boundless flood. Within that limitless tide, some of the most remarkable gems are short releases by obscure new projects, and this is one of them.
The name of this new death metal project is Voidspawn, a duo consisting of multi-instrumentalist M. and vocalist A. Their debut EP is named Pyrrhic and it was released on July 31. Pyrrhic includes three songs, and they are stunningly good.
The soul-rending atmosphere that surrounds and permeates the EP is one of inhuman and unnatural horror, an aura of grim voraciousness and implacable doom. But there’s more to the music than its morbid, unearthly atmosphere. It’s also instrumentally interesting; at well-chosen moments M. even gives us eye-opening displays of technically intricate guitar work (though to be clear, bombastic tech-death is a few light years away from the gravity well of Voidspawn’s music). In addition, the songs are constantly changing pace (the changes driven by a compelling drum performance), and the alterations are unpredictable. In a nutshell, Voidspawn‘s music invokes a sense of shuddering fascination, while also also hitting and crushing with an almost palpable physical power.
The vocals are a significant ingredient of the music’s terrifying atmosphere. They’re a mix of harrowing, heartless roars and fierce howls that seem to echo from the crypt. And while that’s going on, you’re shrouded in slow, dismal, dissonant chords and earth-rumbling drum beats — which suddenly morph into ravenous assaults of grinding tremolo riffs and blast-beat percussion.
The music heaves and moans, it lumbers like a gargantuan stalking beast, and it swarms like shark-sized piranha in a bloody forth. Massive, clobbering doom chords are mixed with warped, twisting and turning arpeggios; Pyrrhic thunders, crawls, and sometimes scampers like a madman.
The predominantly dissonant quality of the music is another key ingredient in its ability to put shivers down the spine. There’s not much conventional melody in these songs. Those dissonant chords and notes, whether delivered in a demented frenzy or like slow, pealing bells, put your teeth on edge and have you looking over your shoulder in dread for the approach from the shadows of something alien and vicious. There’s a heavy element of doom in the atmosphere, but it’s not mournful; it’s apocalyptic.
Pyrrhic is very, very good. It may appeal especially to fans of music in the vein of Gorguts and Ulcerate. Voidspawn chose their name well: This is death metal from the void, or for it.
The perfectly fitting artwork for Pyrrhic was created by Kyle Otto. The EP is available on Bandcamp; it appears that a physical release is in the works.