Release DetailsLABEL Dark Descent
RELEASED ON 1/25/2013
Poisoned Void’s old-school style is complemented by an old-school-sounding production that captures the spirit of Stockholm death, without directly ripping off the Sunlight Studio sound.
Since I am pretty much out of interesting angles on old-school death metal, I will just get down to business with this review. Poisoned Void is the debut from Finnish death metal act Vorum. Though the group is Finnish, there is a strong thread of Swedish influence in its sound. There is nothing remotely fresh about anything on Poisoned Void, but dismissing it would be unjust. As much as Vorum does nothing new, the group also does nothing wrong. Poisoned Void is competently composed and more than competently performed death metal.
Presuming that you are familiar with the Entombed/Dismember blueprint for death metal, I shall focus on how Vorum puts its own, admittedly small, stamp on the style. Drummer Mikko Josefsson brings some new-school aggression to Poisoned Void. His playing is not cluttered or overbearing, but it is punishing and persistent, constantly driving the songs forward. Josefsson lends a welcome sense of urgency to what is some well executed but by-the-numbers death metal.
Where Vorum as a whole excels is in the slow-to-mid-paced grooves and breakdowns sprinkled liberally throughout Poisoned Void. Opener “Impetuous Fires” features two of these, the first of which is built from a melody that swings like a pendulum, with the weight of a wrecking ball at the end. The second groove is an interesting bit of composition: The sequence is a sort of segmented breakdown, wherein the band introduces a slow, grinding riff, then quickly shifts back into high gear, and just as quickly back to the slow grind, repeating the process for several measures. The Napalm Death-like breakdown in “Evil Seed”, by contrast, features no compositional tricks; it is just a sick, neck-snapping groove with “circle pit” written all over it.
Poisoned Void’s old-school style is complemented by an old-school-sounding production that captures the spirit of Stockholm death, without directly ripping off the Sunlight Studio sound. Raw, with just a hint of murk, the mix sacrifices a bit of clarity in the drums for the sake of some extra grit in the guitars and bass. The trade-off is fair, because this type of death metal sounds better dirty.
Does Vorum do anything that has not been done by hundreds of bands, hundreds of times before? Absolutely not. Is much of Poisoned Void likely to stick with you longer than its thirty-five-minute running time? Probably not. Will you bang your head while listening to this album? Almost certainly.