Void of Sleep
Tales Between Reality and Madness

Italy’s Void of Sleep is a relatively new entity that looks set to make significant waves when this excellent debut album hits the streets in early 2013.  They have been together since 2010, with their only prior release being a short promo EP titled Giants and Killers.But there is enough evidence on this debut full-length to suggest that Void of Sleep has cultivated a unique formula that is not easily pinned down and suggests they should be a force to be reckoned with for years to come

Void of Sleep cite the likes of Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Tool, Mastodon, Down and Neurosis as influences, butt hat doesn’t really do the band justiceSure there might be traces of these bands and others in their sound but Void of Sleep are too elusive and unpredictable to link definitively to any one source.  They transcend simplified genre tags to create their own unique spin; balancing direct bursts of bluesy aggression with more expansive rock flavors, neatly intertwined with their heavier, sludgy roots.  Void of Sleep favor longer songs but thankfully they possess the arsenal of quality riffs and song-writing chops to pull it off cohesively.

Their sound intersects the crossroads where the interrelated sub-genres of doom, sludge and stoner rock collide.  This interesting meshing of incestuous bloodlines is embellished by an angular hard rock slant, ample amounts of melody and the occasional progressive foray into more exploratory psychedelic territory.  This isn’t the kaleidoscope of color type of psychedelia but rather a dreamy, mysterious blend of various shades of black and grey.A melancholic vibe seeps into the atmosphere and the diverse, impassioned vocals convey a deeper emotional side to the band.

One of the first notable aspects of the album is the colossal production.  The spacious sound has a sharpness and clarity that is well balanced with a sturdy bottom end,bass with presence and flair, and the genuinely heavy force of the twin guitars.  Drummer Allo demands lots of extra listening attention.  He works skilfully within the structures of the songs,knowing when to lock into a hard-hitting groove or show his finesse though more intricate drum patterns.  This style works wonders within the context of the songs, which flip from straight-out aggression to more adventurous excursions.  Singer Burdo’s vocals careen from gruffer styles to melodic cleaner singing and he’s responsible for some rousing moments and memorable vocal hooks.   And the guitar work is inventive and highly infectious; from the straight-forward but catchy stoner-doom riffs to the more exploratory, out-of-the-box moments.

Opening cut “Blood On My Hands”is a fairly straight-forward but effectively bruising sludge-rocker.  It’s built around forceful, bluesy riffs,driving rhythms and Burdo’s distinct gravelly vocal-style.It’s a fine start to the album, despite traveling a relatively safe path in comparison to what is to follow.  The song contains several standout riffs, basslines that pop-out and crackle and some killer vocal hooks.  Even if Void of Sleep stuck to this formula for the rest of the album it would be a more than satisfying listen.

Pleasingly Void of Sleepcatapults their song-writing into a more ambitious stratosphere.  It becomes apparent on second track “Wisdom of Doom”, where things start to get really interesting.  The song’s addictive hooks, tribal rhythms and stoner-doom grooves march alongin confident style until around the 3-minute mark where the song enters even more engrossing territory.   The contemplative section of restrained, moody atmospherics and assured clean singing unveils the band’s more experimental and progressive tendencies.  The song gracefully merges back to the earlier riff, cohesively tying the song together full circle.

“Lost in the Void” is the epic 8.32-minute centerpiece of the album.  The straight-forward swagger is deceptive initially until the verses kick-in and the depth of their song-writing and Burdo’s excellent singing becomes apparent.  The verses are surprisingly melodic and upbeat but are catchy as hell, and the deft guitar lines and busy rhythm section showcase the band’s excellent musicianship.  As with each song on the album these melodic and proggy elements are shuffled skilfully with their heavier leanings.

The other four tracks are just as high quality with no sign of filler to drag things down.   “Ghost of Me” threads progressive interplay into a moody, melodic-rock base and some heavy, stoner-ish riffs.  The song winds down with some nice lead guitar work and a catchy doom riff that repeats itself whilst gradually changing down gears and dialing back the tempo.  The extended intro of “Mirror Soul Sickness” features more proggy and psychedelic touches before unfolding into a burly groove and catchy shouted chorus.

It’s a great feeling when you stumble across a little known band that floors you this way.  Void of Sleep is one such band whose dynamic vision is wonderfully realized throughout this confident debut.  Fans of the aforementioned bands and aficionados of doom, sludge, stoner rock and quality heavy music would be wise to check this out. Tales Between Reality and Madness is an accomplished, exciting debut that is adventurous, intelligent and refreshingly addictive.  Highly recommended.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
December 24th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    great write-up, and I agree – this album is already on my Best Of list for 2013


  2. Commented by: Serge

    great review, just ordered the cd after reading this :)


  3. Commented by: Gale

    Great review, many thanks from Void of Sleep!
    Follow us on Facebook, click “Like” and stay tuned.
    http://www.facebook.com/voidofsleep

    “Tales between Reality and Madness” preorder Here:
    http://www.auralwebstore.com/store/product.php?id_product=566


  4. Commented by: Luke_22

    Just a heads up for those who dig this excellent band. Recently they had all their gear stolen and have set up a soon to be finished indiegogo fund to record a new ep and buy their gear back. So far they are well short of thejr target, so head over to their facebook page and follow the link to pledge and support these dudes.


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