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Black September - "Into The Darkness Into The Void" (CD)

Black September - "Into The Darkness Into The Void" CD cover image

"Into The Darkness Into The Void" track listing:

1. Into The Darkness (1:53)
2. Solitude (5:39)
3. Rabid Hunger (4:17)
4. Cursed (5:29)
5. Invocation (5:13)
6. Beyond The Realms (4:33)
7. Defiance (5:26)
8. Unhallowed Ground (5:03)
9. No Return (6:22)

Reviewed by on September 29, 2012

"Black September’s grim second album 'Into The Darkness Into The Void' endears itself to the crowd that craves death metal flirting with black metal."

Black September’s grim second album “Into The Darkness Into The Void” endears itself to the crowd that craves death metal flirting with black metal. There are no party riffs, overly-exaggerated gore lyrics, or relenting from the muddy atmosphere the band is stuck in over the course of these nine songs. Hope is dead, life is fleeting, memories are useless, and determination has been stomped out. All that is left trailing behind is the assertion that at some point, the band lets the listener escape from this hell that they are gladly caught in.

There’s a harrowing sense of uncertainty around “Into The Darkness Into The Void.” It’s like walking down an alleyway at night, hearing the rustling of a garbage can next to you, and turning to see nothing. Anything could be behind that can, but it also could have just been the wind. Black September puts this feeling into a sonic outlet, so that it seems like that alleyway stretches for miles instead of yards.

After a suitable intro of noise and feedback, “Solitude” is the jump-start into the distorted fired-up riffs that permeate much of the album. Though they are always on edge, what listeners will more than likely turn their attention to are the inhuman growls from Jen Pickett. She contorts and rips her voice apart enough to make her gender a non-issue; if it wasn’t for looking at the band’s lineup, most wouldn’t even know it was a female behind the mic. She puts her own spin on death metal vocals, without taking cues from the likes of Grace Perry and Simone Pluijmers.

“Into The Darkness Into The Void” is not an album that takes itself lightly. Very little happens in the first half that isn’t made abundantly clear on “Solitude.” That track is the best indication of what a large portion of the album has to offer. The band is light on technicality, which indicates a lot of fast notes and booming drums that would give a normal person a headache. The songs move with ferocity and a lack of melody, almost becoming a bit overwhelming without the appropriate level of anticipation.

Though Black September never gets far away from blackened death metal, they do their best to mix up the speed of the songs. Soaring guitar leads on “Defiance” bring some much-needed variety to the guitar work, and “No Return” is exactly as the title states over the six minutes the closer takes up. It’s the final death cackle that silences the album into the unknown, and Pickett makes sure to get a few hoarse screams out before they reach that destination.

The album title “Into The Darkness Into The Void” is a pitch-perfect description of this album in less than ten words. There’s darkness, and a void within the darkness that traps anything wholesome that may through it. “Into The Darkness Into The Void” is a challenging listen, even with the brief tempo shakeups clouding the relentless attitude taken by Black September. It's not for those who like whimsy in their music, but a hit for those who don’t lower themselves to the standard death metal fare.

Highs: Rancid death metal blended with the unbearing dissonance of black metal, awesome growls from Jen Pickett, variety in tempos keep the music from getting stale

Lows: Songs can blend together at times, especially in the first half

Bottom line: Black September has put together a grim, yet exuberant, sophomore effort that is at times unsettling.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)