Call of the Void
Dragged Down a Dead End Path

Bursting forth with 10 vitriolic blasts of hate-fueled extremity, Colorado’s Call of the Void make quite the impression with their debut full-length, Dragged Down a Dead End Path. Stitching together elements of grind, hardcore and crust, Call of the Void keep it short and direct, creating their own violent, murky combo drawing influence from the likes of Napalm Death, Nails and Converge. The entire album is more of an EP length at a fraction over 25-minutes and by grind standards some of the songs are slightly longer than the norm (“Breeding Grounds” is a whopping 3.44 minutes). However, Call of the Void’s willingness to break from constant blasting and throw in some nasty grooves, coupled with their hardcore spirit, makes this stuff pretty digestible compared to some of the pure grindcore offerings out there, and entertaining to boot.

The midrange production and dirty tones create a dense wall of sound that lacks sharpness but delivers sturdy, mud-coated heft. A sludge influence seeps into some of the grimy grooves, adding character and a unique quality to their sound. Otherwise, what we have here is pretty typical hardcore-laced grind that’s confidently played and executed with plenty of intensity. Steve Vanica’s occasionally monotonous vocals bridge the gap between standard grind and hardcore styles; delivering passionate, throat-ripping intensity. While the rest of the band stab and bludgeon their way through each cut; supplying noisy, fast and spastically tight musicianship amongst thick, leaden grooves.

“Failure” kicks off the assault with ominous feedback circling an impressive showcase of percussive skill from drummer Gordon Koch. It’s an odd intro to the album before the real meat of the song is revealed around the 50-second mark. The rest of the track follows through with what is largely on the plate for the rest of the album; as upbeat, crusty shards of violent hardcore are interspersed with face-shredding blasts of grind and the occasional mid-paced groove. And for the most part the formula works a treat. Their willingness to change up the tempos and throw down some catchy grooves keeps the album from becoming too one-dimensional and indistinguishable from one song to the next. The surging “Abomination” keeps the throttle only halfway down for the most part as a hardcore-tinged sludgy stomp takes hold amidst cleverly deployed bursts of speed and chunky groove. The pure speed-fest of “Napalm Lungs” detonates with vicious riffs and urgency, and ”I Hope you Two Fuck” jags a rugged, dynamic path of shredding speed and tough hardcore grooves.

As a point of comparison I listened to Nails’ Unsilent Death back-to-back with this album; mostly due to the fact they share similar threads in combining several extreme styles into an explosive hardcore/grind sound. And I must say Dragged Down a Dead End Path fell a bit short up against the vicious, razor-edged rampage of Nails’ uncompromising attack. That said Call of the Void has carved an identity of their own and released a short but formidable debut that hints at the beginnings of a bright future and better things to come.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
April 24th, 2013

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