VOIDHRA – SORROW GUIDES US ALL – CRAWLING CHAOS
Dissection. Dissection and Dissection. Dissection’s first two albums.
This album taken in absolute terms is likely an 80 out of 100. However, given its obvious affinity to clone Dissection it is not fair to accord it a higher mark. With that said, Sorrow Guides Us All was on repeat in the car for listen after listen. The solo act is not only inspired by the Swedish band, but just plain lifts riffs, rhythm and tone from Jon and former company. Luckily, The Somberlain of 1993 and Storm of The Light’s Bane of 1995 are releases that easily land in my all-time top 10, if not top 5, albums. Moreover, Dissection is forever dead and gone so Voidhra does not compete with its fountainhead for new music. Had it not been for that the mark would have been considerably lower. Imagine a Dream Theater, Iron maiden or Cannibal Corpse clone. It would be difficult to imagine those would have garnered a rating higher than 40 – if not lower. Dissection is something else though and the man known as Chris Horseblood, who is responsible for everything here, is quite good at what he does. See our review of Mazikeen when the reverse is true.
For some reason this writer had assumed Voidhra would be a doom metal band. It could be the band’s monicker or the album title. Whatever the reason, the style came as a surprise. Past a shadowy and enigmatic cover artwork and an intro the music proper kicks in and the horrific, yet melodic, death metal of the band takes the atmosphere by storm. The structures are simple owing perhaps to the band’s age and tenure and instrumental passages abound. This last characteristic may again be owing to the act’s age – Voidhra was founded in 2021 – or the solo nature of the act. Moreover, and this loses the band favour as well, the man/band has foregone guitar solos. It is a lost opportunity, and the band has announced a full line-up in the meantime, but the music deserved blistering lead work. The title track is the best track here and, like all songs on this album, lasts around six or seven minutes. Hour Of The Serpent emulates the Dissection guitar tone to a T and Fields Of Bleak is slightly doomy with cool vocal effects. This one is mid-paced and on cruise control. It feels odd calling such extreme music on ‘cruise control,’ but the range and dynamism is relatively limited on this track.
Consider Sorrow Guides Us All a tribute album to Dissection with the unoriginality that goes with it, but with compositions that actually better the Swedish band’s 2006 final studio album. – Ali “The Metallian”