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Mixing the extremes - 80%

Felix 1666, February 14th, 2020

Poland is, we all know it, a hotbed for soul-devastating, belligerent sounds and Voidhanger's third album presents a compact overdose of nastiness, malignancy and disgust. It's recommended to all freaks who like the infamous, crusted and mostly ingenious Driller Killer. And those who do not know Driller Killer (inexcusable mistake!), but love to be ugly. Enough said?

No, definitely not. The eight pieces deserve a more detailed description, because the band does not lack energy and determination. Don't be fooled by the almost poetic title "Dark Days of the Soul". Sensitiveness is not among the core competences of the angry three-piece. Quite the opposite, they mix more or less all types of extreme metal - thrash, death, black metal, crustcore - in order to offer a nonconformist cocktail of (non-chaotic) noise. Thunderous guitars, just listen to the beginning of "High on Hate", characterize the compositions during the entire playtime of nearly 34 minutes.

Voidhanger do not take a breather and, even though they do not focus on consistent high-velocity outbursts, they see no reason to shift into a lower gear. The drummer works like a berserk on parole. Needless to mention that the lead vocalist sounds like a barking dog that misses its breakfast.

However, sometimes the musical understanding shimmers through all these violent elements. Exactly this feature is necessary in order to prevent a monotonous noise session. Fans of Terrorizer know the difference between a hellish vortex of brutality ("World Downfall") and an emotionless attack of raucous guitars (broad parts of their later works). I freely admit that the encompassing genius of early Terrorizer remains unrivaled, but Voidhanger have written coherent, substantial and pretty varied tunes that do not lack competitiveness. Although they mostly deliver a thunderstorm of violence, they allow themselves to integrate a few desperate, morbid and hopeless sequences that embody the "Dark Days of the Soul" in a suitable way. Better still, the album does not suffer from any kind of fillers and it grows with every new spin. Even the stomping closer does not fall by the wayside. Instead, it makes the output complete in a very expressive manner. Its heavyweight riffing serves as final proof that this band does not make lukewarm compromises. So dive into their world of acoustic terror, if you are one of those dudes who like it ugly. By the way, you will meet me there.

Originally written for

A plethora of aggression and hate - 100%

vyshomir, April 29th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Agonia Records

I've been "in love" with Voidhanger since their debut album, and every new release was more polished. Now we're here, with this hellish masterpiece.

Voidhanger showed us their more punkish nature in Working Class Misanthropy LP and a d-beat soul on their side of Razing the Shrines of Optimism split. I'm a big fan of such metal/punk mixtures and in my opinion, Dark Days of the Soul is very well made (if I can say something like that about such destructive music). Aggression and hate are simply overflowing from speakers as this album is being played. Every track is a masterpiece of its own. I'm really pleased with how good this LP is, because I can go through it without skipping a track, and that's a compliment for an album (at least from my perspective - I'm very picky sometimes). Songs like Dark Days of the Soul or The Void is where the Heart is have a really passionate feeling and that's really great. Zyklon and Priest are doing a really good job in creating this d-beat vibe and mixing it with raw black/thrash sound wall.

As I've said earlier I really like this release. Since the Razing the Shrines of Optimism Voidhanger is trying to recreate primal aggression in black metal with retaining proper music playing skills. Yet I'm a bit worried if the next album (if there'll be any new VH releases) will be as good as this one is because I doubt if they would create something even better. But I've been wrong many times and maybe this time I'm wrong too.

I recommend this release to anyone who is in love with the First Wave or likes such music mixtures. And even if you don't like such music, maybe this album will change your mind.

So intense and extreme, this'll go all supernova - 85%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 17th, 2018

What am I doing here, reviewing a Polish 3-piece band playing blackened death / thrash metal when I should have my head stuck in yet another atmospheric BM recording? Well sometimes the small space between my ears gets clogged up with a lot of the cloudy ambience stuff and the noisy guitar fuzz and I need something to sweep and clean it all out so I can start all over again! The Voidhanger guys love their intense, brutal barrage of carnage, violence, aggression and hate; and more than that love to deliver it at top speed with manic relish, hardcore crust punk beats and not a little black humour. On this, their third album, the trio ram out eight energetic tracks of sheer heavyweight grimness, a dizzying array of hooky riffs and headbanging groove rhythms that steamroll right over you and are gone before you even know they were coming, nuclear-powered drumming and throaty haranguing vocals promising hell and destruction to any listeners brave or foolish enough to press the "play" button.

Track titles like "High on Hate" and "Death Wish" leave you in no doubt what these guys' intentions are and titles like "The Void is where the Heart is" and "Hailing the Devil in Me" reveal a fair amount of self-deprecating black humour. The band's sound is thick and solid, with a heavy grinding and sinister-sounding bass and thunderous drumming. Guitars can sometimes be darkly sparkling in a way that reminds me of Deathspell Omega. The gruff vocals are some distance in the background, covered over in reverb yet the lyrics are surprisingly audible. The title track sets the pace with near-terrifying levels of speed and thick slabs of filthy, crusty guitar, both combining to whack your brain over and over with riffs that change at an insane pace nearly all the time. Thunder tremolo guitars, thumping tom-toms and shouty vocals complete an alarming package of aggression and muscle. Where the musicians get all that energy needed to power such brutal violence is anyone's guess. The guys go from one track to the next with hardly any let-up in intensity and pace. On some early tracks, we meet up with some danceworthy chugga-chugga rhythms that wouldn't be out of place on old Napalm Death albums.

To be honest, despite possessing more catchy riffs and melodies than some bands' entire discographies can boast, the songs aren't very distinctive from one another - when each track features about 10+ different riff and rhythm motifs all passing by faster than your ears can register, all of them can start sounding much the same - and the album is best heard and appreciated for its overall intensity, energy, dark atmosphere and sense of humour and fun. Originality is in short supply - if you've heard Voidhanger before, you probably know what to expect - but with a recording this energetic and fun to follow, innovation isn't important. On each song, the fellers take the attitude of trying to play the music louder, heavier, faster and more brutally than the last track ... or the next. The result is the album gets more manic and hilarious as the band goes for broke and shred and pound their instruments into smithereens.

I swear any minute now, on any given track, these Poles will be so intense and so extreme, that the music will explode into a black supernova and we'll all be lifted into another dimension altogether. I may be a while trying to find my way back to Planet Earth. The atmospheric stuff will have to wait.