Collapse the Void

Saw this New York-based black/death band in the writers’ backlog here at TOTD, so I decided to check out their Myspace. Liked what I heard (from their ‘05 split with funeral doom act Rigor Sardonicus, and also from their full ‘07 release): raw and clattery, with the occasional melodic strain, and huge, gargled demonic vocals sitting high in the mix. Seemed like just enough of a tweak on the usual blasting black/death formula to be interesting. And after checking out their new release, Collapse the Void, it’s clear that Dimentianon have progressed from interesting to unique.

At first, opener “Return” starts with both boots firmly planted in the bloodied snows of mid-to-late ‘90s Swedish melodic black metal – bands like Dawn, Dissection and Sacramentum. But then it goes full-on progressive, wandering through bluesy reverie, doom thunder, full-on black-death blasting and ending with an epic march that sounds like it was ripped from a swords-and-sorcery B-movie. Based on the samples, I was expecting something much more traditional, so all of the new additions to Dimentianon’s sound threw me for a loop. But a good one – everything here is well-played and packed with engaging melodies.

Later in the album, another 8-minute epic also twists through more sections and passages than I’d have expected from those initial tastes. “The Forgotten” (a nod to the band’s early name) starts in slow, doomy wretchedness, then slithers into a classic, haunting melodic black metal tremolo joined by an even more melodic solo. It’s one of my favorite segments of the entire disc, maybe even one of the coolest passages of black metal I’ve heard all year.

After that, Dimentianon pretty much hacks and slashes at different regions of the extreme metal carcass, carving off slabs of mean, filthy thrash and frantic black-death blasts, death/doom ambiance complete with grumbling strings, and finally, clean prog-metal soloing. Once again, the musicianship and melodies in each of these passages is impressive, but it’s hard to make a meal of some of these chunks, as the band quickly switches to something else just as you’re chewing what you’ve got. Some might call this unpredictable, but it feels fragmented to me. And while I’m sure it will become comfortable after additional listens, some of these ideas could have been spread across more tracks.

Back up to the second track, “Breathe Deep,” which is much less diverse and far-reaching but also more cohesive. Once again, it starts as Swedish melodic black metal, but not as fast or relentless. It’s got a more loping pace, chewier tone and lays in some Morbid Angel-style squiggling solos and low churning bits. And when it does crank to a blast, it’s more for effect than an attempt to overwhelm you. Overall this track is more successful and balanced because of its restraint, but then again, it’s also the shortest track on the disc (just over 3 minutes). Album closer “All Good Things End” is also a more straightforward, traditional black/death attack (with enough melodic work to keep things fresh), but it too veers off into some unexpected territory, like the processed 8-bit guitar sound halfway through.

Dimentianon have one more curveball on the third track, “Fragmented Nostalgia” – several minutes of doomy wailing over soft, sullen piano. I really dig the warbling late 70s keys that come in, and so ultimately I enjoy it. However, given the fact that these textures aren’t repeated in any of the other tracks, and compared with the material that surrounds it, it seems like a strangely placed piece.

Despite my critiques – which mostly have to do with editing and cohesion –  I was very pleasantly surprised by Dimentianon. The surprising contrast between the (already strong) early material and this new, melodic/prog black metal sound shows an impressive amount of growth and ambition. And although this is occasionally too much of a good thing, I’m hoping things will continue to gel more with repeated listens – which will be coming soon, considering I just ordered a copy of Collapse the Void for myself. And that’s pretty much the best type of recommendation I can give.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
November 22nd, 2010


  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Great album – thanks for the review GG.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    had you heard it before this post?

  3. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    No! You get full discovery rights.

  4. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    You should also really check out the latest from Exsickator [Beyond this World]. So good.

  5. Commented by: JH DOOM

    I really liked Hossanas Novus Ordo Seclurum… haven’t had a chance to check this one out though. I didn’t even know they were coming out with a new album! Guess I better get on it.

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