I’ve often been heard saying that Evoken’s last full-length LP, ‘The Antithesis of Light’, was amongst one of my favourite doom albums of all time. The band has a knack for creating some of the most evil, crushing sounds this side of doom metal. Yet despite the intensity the band brings to their music, they offset it perfectly with understated keyboard use that gives the impression of something far more epic and sinister; almost funeral doom-esque in its appearance, with echoes of their self-confessed influence, Thergothon.
Their latest effort, ‘A Caress of the Void’, doesn’t stray from this try and tested formula, and instead tries to better an already near-faultless previous album. This isn’t so much breaking new ground as it is retreading with more attention. What it sets out to do, it does perfectly. They create an atmosphere of unease which also manages to throw in an array of guitar work that stretches from the death metal side of things with an increase in tempo, all the way back to slow, heinous riffs; occasionally switching between a clean, tension building guitar setting, to a sonic delivery of distortion and ear bruising heaviness.
Though not as good, in my opinion, as ‘The Antithesis of Light’, this album certainly is nothing to be scoffed at. This is definitely one of the better doom releases of the year, and solidifies Evoken’s place within the genre. Fans of Corrupted will take to the vocalist instantly, as he moves from chanting in certain parts of songs, to a deep, chasmal roar that oozes despair, and accompanies the music in delivering an experience that is rarely matched by other bands. Another thing that keeps your attention throughout the duration of the album, is that despite the band having a certain sound that reverberates across the seven tracks of this album, the music found in each one is distinguishable from the others. This makes the album wholly more entertaining, as it has some sense of variety – even if that is mostly in the form of injecting certain pace changes at different intervals.
Overall, ‘A Caress of the Void’ is a powerful album that any doom metal fan will appreciate. If you’re new to the band, then I recommend that you listen to 2005’s ‘The Antithesis of Light’, as it is the better of the two (but not by a large margin, I might add). Either way, you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the music found on both albums, and I eagerly await any material that they release next –as I have been since first hearing them–, and live in hope that they tour over here sometime soon.
Scribed by: Lewis Hunter