Missouri’s Metal outfit Voidgazer are back with their second EP Dance Of The Undesirables, after a five-year gap with a fully refreshed line-up, with only Austin Rakey on guitars remaining and an equally refreshed sound.
Voidgazer – Dance Of The Undesirables (Independent release)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Jools Green
2016’s offering, their debut EP, Years Of Exile, was a fifteen-minute chunk of Sludgy Prog with a touch of Grind, whereas this latest offering is double the duration. They have pushed the boundaries of genre inclusion and merging even further, with hints of Technical Metal, blues, rock, groove and even blackened elements at times, all rammed in there alongside the Progressive Sludge Metal and the grindcore meld of the predecessor. Altogether a superb example of complexly crafted Metal.
Voidgazer describes their sound as biker prog, which doesn’t give much away description wise in terms of what to expect, but how do you define such a broad genre collective anyway?
The great thing is if you don’t like what’s playing, give it thirty seconds, and chances are high you will like what comes next, not that from my perspective, at least there is anything to dislike anywhere on this EP. This time there is also a sharper structure and definition to the tracks, with all the elements being more defined as well as the variance of pace and direction.
Dance Of The Undesirables consists of five hefty duration tracks that are filled with surprises with every direction switch, and there is no shortage of those. This is an EP that will continue to fascinate and reveal with subsequent listens.
Opening on Jesus Take The Needle, with a meld of prog riffing and complex but subtle drum work, then it’s straight into a crushing Death Sludge which is in turn elevated by bursts of addictive upbeat, groovy riffs before taking a Grind downturn, coming back as a punchy chugger of a beast with more groovy touches. The acerbic low growls, which have excellent clarity of content, across this track and the whole album complete this huge sound.
Expectations Management is a groovy driver that is as addictive as it is complex, with subtle bluesy tones balancing against the acerbic growls. The mid-point and second half rock style leadwork comes as a huge but welcome surprise.
Title track Dance Of The Undesirables is the album monster at eight and a half minutes. With lower growls alongside acerbic higher harsh vocals on this complex riff-driven beast, the drum work weaves amongst the galloping riffs. The track is completed with superb leadwork, with subtle pauses and twists. By now, it’s clear this isn’t going to be a straightforward album, including a mid-point swathe of very sexy blues work, then straight back into the onslaught, which now has a death grind undertone, Technical Metal overtones, and a flamboyant rock ‘n’ roll closer.
Brilliant and bonkers all in one.
Blast Equalizer for a split second made me think it was going to break out as an emotive melodic prog work, but it soon became apparent it wasn’t. Thankfully, instead, it’s a dark, crushing driver, permeated with superb leadwork, complex riff patterns and engaging rise and fall to the pace, with an element that feels nostalgically familiar, but I can’t put a finger on quite why. All I know is that I love it, and there’s also a groovy closing segment to rock out to.
The final piece, the brilliant tongue twistingly titled, Sexual Sadist Serial Slasher, is a cheeky groovy number with snarly vocals, but that also packs a punch. It’s deceptively brutal, powerfully crushing, technical and frantic, in equal measures.
Dance Of The Undesirables is a highly recommended listen, but no amount of me attempting to describe this EP, to my mind, can do it justice.
Just give it a listen and see for yourself!