Church of Void – Dead Rising

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Review by Paul Castles

Svart Records

Finland’s Church of Void may not be the easiest bunch to attach to a particular genre but then that’s one of the attributes that enables this likeable young bunch to poke their collective heads above the parapet. While debut album Dead Rising has a healthy smack of doom running through its core, it’s far too vibrant and uplifting to be seen purely as another tearful tale of loves lost.

Opening number ‘Tristess’ positively pulses with vitality, driven forward invitingly by an absolutely infectious riff and pulsating rhythm from the delightfully named Adolp Darkschneider. Vocalist Magus Corvis does not sound quite so animated on the more solemn ‘Son of a Witch’ which features a moody mid-track instrumental walk around the bubbling coven, before building once more to a sharper peak than a witches hat. Predictably enough, ‘Winter is Coming’ has a slightly colder feel with a piercing guitar racing through its peaks with sufficient penetration to topple the biggest of icebergs.

The album’s title track is a crushing affair, the tantalising bleak guitar intro finally blown apart by a manic cry from Corvis, whose vocals on the song’s chorus drop deeper than a catacomb and are every bit as spooky. ‘Entity of Kalypso’ has a classic doom opener, a bewitching guitar solo followed by the magnificent Magus entering the equation supported by some spiraling rythmns in the background before the pace again slows down to something approaching a crawl. Closing number ‘Little Child Lost’ aches with sorrow and despair, the excruciatingly sad riff reflecting the moroseness and misery of the subject.  At times on this curtain closer Church of Void waver into My Dying Bride territory, and for me the Yorkshire angst mob are always worth a nod in the right direction. Rather than letting things fade out to black though Church of Void go out in a minute of guitar thrashing mayhem, as though challenging anyone to define them as purely another doom entity.

With the likes of Kadavar and Graveyard also turning out some formidable work in a similar vein to Church of Void, getting your material to stand out from the talented crowd is never easy. At times Church of Void are not entirely dissimilar from respected forefathers of doom Pentagram. There are also some clean vocals on this number with Corvis really opening up his larynx to great effect. But for a debut offering, and with only an EP previously to their name, Church of Void have shown enough here to suggest they’re capable of going further. Most of the band members have already taken a few successful steps with previous Scandinavian outfits (Battlelore/Horna) so the mature, accomplished production on this release is not exactly a surprise. But don’t waste your time worrying about where Dead Rising should fit into your collection, simply enjoy it.

Church of Void 20138 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Tristess
  2. Son of a Witch
  3. Winter is Coming
  4. Dead Rising
  5. Owls are Listening
  6. The Magician
  7. Entity of Kalypso
  8. Little Child Lost