As is so often the case, I'm late to the party. In fairness, the party is more often than not one that I'm not invited to to begin with; but after I bust out the self-deprecating humor and offer up a case of Busch beer, I'm rarely thrown out. Unfortunately, our friends over at Mind Eraser Promotions DID, in fact, invite me to listen to Voidthrone's new LP, 'Kur,' a solid month ago and it wasn't until the past week that I finally dove in. 'Kur,' Voidthrone's second LP, was released independently on May 2nd and you can listen to it in its entirety via the band's official YouTube channel. Other than Pretty Wife berating me for wanting to add yet another vintage skateboard to my already bloated collection, I've listened to little else besides 'Kur' over the past couple of days. I've got a couple of takeaways. This album is, at its core, an album of dissonant, conflicting noises that ultimately coalesce into a listening experience that is just as challenging as it is rewarding. What begins with a minor scale middle-eastern invocation on 'Modern Hellfire' transforms into blackened metallic chaos on the title track. Each instrument, including Zhenya Frolov's vocals, descend upon your ears in wave after pummeling wave, offering little in the way of respite. Joshua Keifer's drums and Austin Schmaltz's bass are set to dirtied frenzy throughout, creating a rhythmic foundation that Mac Boyd's guitar winds and dives its way over. Had Phish ever had a complete psychotic break and gone death metal it might have sounded like this.
-GET YOUR CONCERT TICKETS HERE AND SUPPORT METAL ABYSS- The record, which is divided into only four tracks and clocks in at a scant 24 minutes, is exactly as long as it should be. 'Kur' is not a record that I recommend you casually listen to. This album, though it does not require patience, does require your undivided attention. The left turns that Voidthrone takes with time changes, the introduction and reinterpretation of leads, and the sprinkling of foreign, even other-worldly sounds are so impressively integrated into the overall song structure that the inattentive ear is apt to miss them. Given my pathetic attention span, an album much longer would have required an intermission. The band draw inspiration from some of death metal's heaviest hitters, to include Deathspell Omega, Gorguts, Morbid Angel and The Black Dahlia Murder, yet have crafted an album that sounds entirely their own. If what you require is a blackened death metal record that embraces dissonance without taking a meat cleaver to what most mortals would recognize as a song, Voidthrone's 'Kur' should absolutely be in your current rotation. And since I'm a week and a half late in getting this bit of advice to you, it probably already is and you need me like you need a nice case of hemorrhoids. Still, it's fun to watch me fall on my face, right? Drop by Voidthrone's Bandcamp page where digital copies of this album can be had. You can also visit their Facebook page for tour dates and to thank the band for making you metal drunk. And please, feel free to let us know in the comments if you want us to cover more dissonant/progressive metal. Trust me, after hearing Kur you won't be twisting my arm. Rage on! JPR