Jason Köhnen has been around the doom and drone scene for many a year, whether it’s as a founding member of Dutch doomers Celestial Season, or the drone collectives of Bong-Ra and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, it’s a name that’s more than familiar to readers of these hallowed pages. And when I heard he was teaming up with Martina Horváth of Thy Catafalque to delve into their love of doom under the moniker The Answer Lies In The Black Void, I was immediately intrigued.
On the surface their debut album Forlorn, which is out now through Burning World Records, does have one foot firmly planted in the doom scene, but the nine tracks offer so much more, as Sean mentioned in his recent review, ‘heavy droning guitars over a slow crushing tempo’ that ‘Okkultus chimes in with a strangely Treasure era Cocteau Twins vibe’, and concludes saying ‘what really sets this apart from more classic doom offerings is the vocals, Martina’s voice soars above anything I would even consider standard in the genre’.
And today it’s our honour to bring you a video for the track Okkultas, which the duo comment as a ‘visual tribute to Hammer House Horror’, so click play below and submerge yourself in the harrowing Okkultas…
More on The Answer Lies In The Black Void & Forlorn
The Answer Lies In The Black Void is a collaboration between Martina Horváth (singer for the avant-garde metal project Thy Catafalque) and Jason Köhnen (Celestial Season, Bong-Ra, ex-The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble) born out of their shared passion for doom.
The debut album, Forlorn is an enveloping exploration of the doom genre and the myriad means of expression within it – journeying from a classic old-school sound to something more contemporary, then expanding further into sludge and industrial terrain, also incorporating elements of Martina’s background in Hungarian folk music. The Answer Lies In The Black Void seeks to embrace beauty in darkness and fragility in heaviness.
In their own words, ‘Forlorn explores the sacred union of the divine feminine and masculine, the light and the dark, the shadows that hide within and the trials of love, lust and loss’.
Forlorn was written and recorded during the pandemic. Mixed and mastered by Daniel Azar Arendarski, and with guest contributions from Tamas Katai of Thy Catafalque and Olly Smit of Celestial Season.
The duo predominantly work together in their music project MANSUR accompanied by Dmitry El Demerdashi (ex-PHURPA) releasing their albums on Denovali Records.
Martina has been part of Thy Catafalque since 2017 and with MANSUR since 2020. Studying Hungarian folk music since the age of five. Participating in traditional folk bands and singing in several choirs including the St. Paul’s Cathedral‘s choir in London. Her musical career started with electro/folk band (Zombori), a folk metal band called (Niburta) and her own doom metal band called Nulah.
Jason was a founding member of Celestial Season back in 1992, founding member of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble (2001) and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation. Jason has performed solo as Bong-Ra since 1998 with which a John Peel Session was recorded and two performances at Glastonbury and founded MANSUR in 2020.
05. For Nevermore
06. Become Undone
08. White Dove
The Answer Lies In The Black Void is:
Jason Köhnen – All instrumentation and production
Martina Horváth – Vocals
Olly Smit – Slide guitar on Barren
Tamás Kátai – Synth on For Nevermore
Gábor Drótos – Acoustic guitar and cello on Barren and full orchestration on Curse
Colin Webster – Saxophone on Rubicon and Become Undone
The Answer Lies In The Black Void and their debut album Forlorn is out now through Burning World Records on CD and two vinyl variations that are available on the labels webstore, while digital downloads can be purchased on Bandcamp.