Album Review: Void Ritual – Holodomor

No chants, no acoustic guitars, no fuckin’ around brutha, or I might get raggamuffin! Void Ritual brings tingles down my spine here on 2014’s vastly-underrated Holodomor. Don’t get me wrong. Chants are cool. But Void Ritual ain’t about that on Holodomor, friends. This is straight away second wave supersonic Calgary-crushing black metal on a three track EP with an absolutely killer album cover to match. Void Ritual attack! Attack! Attack!

The speed doesn’t show any signs of sloppiness by one-man band Daniel Jackson. Instead, consistently rapid, consistently high-quality tremolo riffs and blastbeats blow the roofs off in spades, fiends! Holodomor gave us a taste of things to come in 2014 with this release, what with Void Ritual’s split with Barshasketh absolutely ripping heads off this year. This retrospective shows Void Ritual at its hungriest. The tanks are rolling and the body count is climbing. Holodomor sounds like the soundtrack to a nuclear holocaust.


But, let’s not go over the moon, brothers – Void Ritual’s Holodomor is black metal art. The mid-tempo moshes are original but catchy, and the blast parts are carefully-executed. The object isn’t to dizzy the listener with brutal speed totally lacking in proficiency and imagination. Holodomor puts good ideas on display, carefully played with the conviction fitting a man with a vision and enthusiasm for the music.

On three tracks of sonic violence, Void Ritual plays somnabulist, taking your unworthy expectations and shattering them to bits. No pre-conceived notions. No butterfly wings tremolo riffs. Expect Marduk speed with old Darkthrone darkness. Moshpit or listening station? Either way, listen intently and simultaneously go insane!

Void Ritual keeps this down to three tracks to emphasize the sense of urgency. A full album of similar material would leave you exhausted. Three tracks of this quality leave you hungry for more!

Indecisiveness shows in riffs that are not ready for release, but there’s nothing of this ilk on Holodomor. Holodomor‘s certainty validates three-song EP formats. Would you choose ten songs that have a ‘hit’ here and there, or would you go mad for three tracks that are worth every second of their runtime? The choice is easy. Choose a band of lesser aesthetics if you indulge in mass acceptance.

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The slower sections are noteworthy for keeping the listener’s interest in the absence of brutal blasting. In fact, close to the title track’s four minute mark, a mid-tempo riff sounds part pagan, part fourth-wave genius. The vocals are somewhere behind the guitars in the mix, echoing like a man screaming in the wilderness.

The production is precisely what it needs to be. The guitars might not be gritty, but there is no room here for gimmicks. If you play black metal, let black metal speak your name, enter your ears, drive you insane and haunt you for the rest of your days. Void Ritual’s Holodomor does just that!


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The Author

Al Necro

Al Necro

Provocateur/Connoiseur of all things dark and grisly. Published author and freelance editor addicted to underground metal of the highest order! Al Necro lives and writes in Manila, Philippines.

Abandon hope, all ye who read Al Necro!

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Merryn Western

Jonathan Wesson

Jonathan Wesson

Very good music