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Evoken - "Caress Of The Void" (CD)

Evoken - "Caress Of The Void" CD cover image

"Caress Of The Void" track listing:

1)A Caress Of the Void
2)Mare Erythraeum
3)Of Purest Absolution
4)Astray In Eternal Night
5)Descend the Lifeless Womb
6)Suffer A Martyr's Trial (Procession At Dusk)

Reviewed by on July 26, 2008

"'A Caress of the Void' sees a mix of classic 'deathy' funeral doom along the lines of their previous releases with clean guitar parts littered throughout."

Sometimes life just calls for an oppressive sadness, and few outside the metal genre can lay claim to producing such epic emotions. For whatever reason, metal heads flock to the obscure, the morbid and the macabre, and they may look no further than Evoken. Forged from the fires of Thergothon, Winter, and Disembowelment, Evoken landed again in 2007 with a new release of only the purest death doom called "A Caress of the Void."

The album’s opening track sets things straight - this is megalithic funeral doom in terms of most musical aspects; pace, ambience, emotion and musicality. However, as fans know there is a driving death metal force to Evoken that comes through in the vocals and drums that earns Evoken the "death doom" tag. The vocals aren't pervasive in this release so new-comers to the genre should get used to massive hypnotic instrumental sections like the excellent "Mare Erythraeum."

"A Caress of the Void" sees a mix of classic "deathy" funeral doom along the lines of their previous releases with clean guitar parts littered throughout. The gentle mournful acoustics were the one new tactic that caught my ear on this release. These phantasmal sequences are a great introduction and hints of the spacey realms of fellow funeral doomers Esoteric can definitely be heard in sections like the intro to "Suffer a Martyr's Trial (Procession at Dusk)."

This release also sees a band that knows what it’s doing. Evoken has been churning out quality doom metal for over a decade now, and they make writing epic music seem like child’s play. If you're an Evoken fan, then you won't be disappointed, as "A Caress of the Void" feels like Evoken’s most mature album to date. Unlike other big names such as My Dying Bride, Evoken's death doom tag comes with it the relentlessly negative feel, and unlike pure funeral doom acts, there is scant melody here to attract newcomers, at least none of which manage to escape the stifling atmosphere. Also gone with the new wind is the rawer feel of earlier releases, replaced with expansive production and songwriting. I have to say I was a big fan of Evoken's 2001 classic "Quietus" and I missed the raw, hollow sound that they had, but modern doom fans will no doubt love the heavy production. "Caress Of The Void" is not going to over shadow 2005's praised "Antithesis of Light" either, but it won't be falling under any shadows. If you've yet to hear any Evoken or you're a fan of death/doom then don't pass on picking this release up if you see it in stock.

Highs: Heavy, depressing, relentless - quality death doom

Lows: Nothing new for Evoken and it will no doubt split fan subtleties in every direction

Bottom line: Evoken is still going strong and still pumping out great albums

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)