Album Review: Voidgazer – Dance Of The Undesirables

Danny Tilson

The Breakdown

It's been a long time coming but this years best metal album has arrived

Founded in late 2015 by mastermind Manny Watts, death prog merchants Voidgazer have been a band that have honed their craft for a while. Their debut EP ‘Years Of Exile’ was released the following year, and the band jammed around the Midwest of America over the next three years, naturally evolving the music and band until the current line-up. The covid pandemic forced them to put a stop to their live performances and pause the release of their second EP, ‘Dance Of The Undesirables’. Reigning Phoenix Music (RPM) took an interest, and now, finally, the band’s beast of a debut album has been released to the world.

The excellently named ‘Jesus Take The Needle’ is the first track to kick off this rampaging slab of metal; bluesy jamming mixed with some of the heaviest basses I have heard in a while takes the track off a cliff edge as the guttural growling begins setting the scene for what’s to come. Especially with the track taking its various detours through rock and metal genres. From the band dropping the groove, morphing it into ferocious death metal to unhinged chaos. However, everything is tight and nailed down, hinting at the quality of the music.

The snarling groove fest rolls into the second track, ‘Expectations Management’, with its classic rock vibe that includes some slick fretwork. It is part Guns N Roses, part Metallica, part Motorhead and full on rock with a growl. Check out the cool Jazz rock finish. It shares a lot with a track on the album’s second half – ‘Blast Equaliser’. Fancy fretwork abounds with its jazzy vibe, slipping into straight-up rock beautifully. Like the band is gently stepping on the gas pedal till it’s buried deep into the floor, and the track lurches smoothly yet furiously forward.

The title track, and also the longest track on the album, shows the band well into their flow now as the incendiary riff is nigh on perfectly, helped along by the charging drums and vocal roar. This is where Voidgazer have something that little bit special. Bringing some fantastic riffing coupled with lengthy songwriting, they sit on the edge of various rock and metal genres that blend to create what’s best for the song.

The drumming is spot on throughout and really enhances what the other guys are doing. Things get really interesting when the jazz returns as a lengthened guitar solo takes things into different territory; however, once again, the band pushes the track off a cliff. The metal is never far from the surface, tinged with some demonic possession.

The titles continue with the harshly sounding and harshly named ‘Sexual Sadist Serial Slasher’, an absolute monster of a speed metal track that rips the listener a new one with its brutality. The majority of this album is an aural delight, whereas this track is an aural assault that should be turned up to the max and felt rather than heard.

The feedback-drenched ‘Grand Appeasement’ sets things up for final track ‘From Nothing’ full of prog growling and guitar noodling. It quickly gets into its stride with perhaps the grooviest verse riffs on the whole album. It’s a statement of what the band do so well. Intricate yet heavy, wild yet controlled, crushing but gently done. It is a perfect ending to what is, as near as can be, the best metal album this year.

Apart from ‘Grand Appeasement’, there are some lengthy tracks here, yet the band manages to keep things fresh and each track interesting. There isn’t a boring moment on this track, and you can tell that the band are made up of high-tier musicians who bring the groove along with technical dazzlement. Yet they keep things tightly framed within the track. There is no one-man show here; Voidgazer are a band and what a band they are.

Check out the opener of the album, below:

Find out more about the band via their Facebook

Purchase the album here

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