Norwegian occult hard rock band White Void, have released their debut album ‘Anti’ via Nuclear Blast records. A concept album based on Albert Camus’ Absurdism and inspired by 70s occult rock, 80s hard rock and British new wave.
The band members come from pretty varied backgrounds, such as Norwegian black metal, chiptune electronica, pop music and blues. Mastermind of the band is Lars Nedland, long-time member of Borknagar (Norwegian progressive black metal) and Solefald (Norwegian avant-garde metal/black metal). White Void also features Tobias Solbakk of Ihsahn, electronica musician Vegard Kummen and blues rock musician Eivind Marum.
Starting with the rocking ‘Do. Not. Sleep’ which sums up this album quite well. The use of electronic synths in the background and the bluesy lead playing and the unmistakable voice of Lars Nedland. There’s a hint of industrial gothic on next track ‘There Is No Freedom But The End’ puts you in the mind of bands like Interpol. The plodding repetitive riff on the verses sets up the huge chorus perfectly.
The sining star of ‘Where You Go, You’ll Bring Nothing’ and in fact this album is Nedland’s melodic delivery. On ‘Where You Go…’ his voice rises and falls throughout the song. The chorus brings a touch of euphoria to the proceedings.
Swirling psychedelic rock ‘The Shovel And The Cross’ is full of big organ sounds and dominant chord changes which flow with an urgency with the whole band sticking on the brakes for a drawn out chorus all mixed with a pure self indulgent solo that ticks all the boxes.
After fooling us with an acoustic guitar on the intro of ‘This Apocalypse Is For You’, the track explodes with a punk riff and energy and guitarist Eivind Marum gets to shine once again as he does on ‘All Chains Rust, All Men Die’. A slice of some blues rock in the vane of Deep Purple with huge drums and organ.
‘The Fucking Violence Of Love’ a killer riff and vocals to match with a solemn organ interlude before the track takes on a more funk vibe however it’s the guitar that is the star of the show. Chunky rock chords and blues riffing dominate. Such an epic song that grows from simple riff rock to a prog masterpiece. Something this album does extremely well.
The band go full electronica rock on final track ‘The Air Was Thick With Smoke’ synths take the melodic lead with a thick backing of distorted guitar. Catchy as hell, just like the whole album and something you don’t realise till after you have played it.
It seems like each member of the band are having a whole heap of fun and playing out their skin. Nothing here is just enough or satisfactory in terms of performance. Anti is an album of mini prog masterpieces with each songs taking off and twisting and turning. Theres no simple straight rock tracks here. The work that has gone into the arrangements is breathtaking in places along with the performances.
Lars Nedland’s vocals stay pretty constant as the music varies drastically around him. The drumming is something special on various tracks here and the lead playing from the guitar has you sitting up and taking notice. How little lead riffs and melodic runs just slot into place on the tracks just brings a smile on my face.
Check out the track Do. Not. Sleep, below
Find out more via the bands Facebook
Order the album here