Indiana doom band Void King does NOT contain any current or former members of Apostle of Solitude…but I’ll be damned if their riffs don’t remind me of Indianapolis’ pre-eminent epic doom outfit. They first caught my ear with their debut album three years ago, and have taken another step forward with sophomore effort Barren Dominion.
This eight-song, 47-minute album kicks off with some looming doom in the form of seven-minute “A Lucid Omega,” which gets heads nodding from the get-go. The soaring, melodic vocals only add to the agony of the proceedings – this is what true doom is supposed to sound like. They pick up the pace short of the three minute mark to a mid-paced stomp that’s almost more akin to Torche, but it’s not long before the steady trad-doom chug kicks back in, then devolves even further to a light, airy, vocal-driven section around 4:30 in, with a note on the word “pain” that stretches several seconds just shy of six minutes. (The effect is less impactful when they repeat it a few more times, mind you.)
“Leftover Savages” takes a slightly Saint-Vitus riff layered beneath more soaring, deep-voiced vocals on a mellower verse which leads into a steady, crashing chorus. With a couple more tempo changes, there’s some tasty riff meat to be found on this one. “Burnt at Both Ends” slows things down even more, resulting in the heaviest, doomiest song on this record. Mmm, burnt ends…
On the back half, “Temples Made of Bone” is another seven-minute number, albeit a little more plodding that some of its predecessors. “Learning from the Ashes” is solid slice of melancholic gloom, which really brings AoS to mind, while “Crippled Chameleon” combines an awesome song title with one of the best riffs on the record, right off the bat…although it also gets bogged down after a bit. Barren Dominion doesn’t capture my attention for all of its 47 minutes, but the moments when it does are quite memorable.
(Off the Record Label)