Review: Hail The Void ‘Memento Mori’

Hailing from the remote wilderness of British Columbia, Canada, Hail The Void have already made their mark in the form of their Self-Titled debut album, which reached number 4 on the Doom Charts for June 2020, and won them the Best Debut Album at the first Doomed and Stoned Awards. Their new album, Memento Mori, which is out now through Ripple Music, is part of a special series of releases curated by Blasko of Ozzy Osbourne’s band fame.

Hail The Void 'Memento Mori'
Hail The Void ‘Memento Mori’ Artwork

The cover artwork by Welder Wings is a beautiful image which announces the quality to be found in this album. The art is really tastefully thematic and just lovely to look at. Death herself should be flattered.

First track, Mind Undone, is an intro, sombre layers of distortion introduce us and the vocals soon show up to greet us as this noise ceremony reaches fever pitch. Writing On The Wall then opens with mostly clean guitar crunch, bringing the listener into a meditative doom trudge that incorporates the vocals in a melodic and heavily emotional chant, before they get paired with brooding and powerful riffing. The synergy of the band, along with the vocals, powers the core of this track to a climax with an awesome solo mid-song.

Goldwater opens on a guitar piece evoking delicate beauty, and while the music soon turns more bluesy and heavy, this sentiment remains throughout, mostly in the vocals. The harder chorus follows a familiar pattern which is interestingly altered between verses. The production is spotless while maintaining an organic feel.

stacked with musical and vocal hooks…

Talking To The Dead starts off straight rocking, throwing a great bluesy solo early on and is a lead extravaganza, jammy and straightforward at the same time. The vocals across the album have a very ethereal treatment, mostly doubled and always smothered in reverb. They sound great but I wish we got to hear the voice a little rawer at times.

High And Rising is a slow stoner jam that’s all about the substances, it’s a fun joint with some tight riffs. This style of doubling solos of Kirin Gudmunson is pretty trippy and cool. Dean Gustin’s bass is always completely on top of the harmony while throwing in embellishments wherever possible. The audio samples opening 100 Pills are different and immediately the track opens with tons of drama and romance, in an unexpected ballad that works really well.

Serpens South opens with a light arpeggio then into a soft guitar melody that the whole band joins in, which kinda mutates and gets trippier with each spin. The band gets tons of mileage from the light/dark or soft/heavy dynamic, but they do a pretty solid job of keeping it interesting as it’s also stacked with musical and vocal hooks. These guys also know exactly where to place a solo.

Closing track, The Void, seems to go the trippy route, slow and floaty ending the album on a sweet, psychedelic note. One might say a high of sorts. A great band, a solid album, and there’s still room for the trippy to get trippier and the heavy to get heavier.

Label: Ripple Music
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Goro Riffs