Editor: So this is the first guest review from a non-metal fan, an occurrence I hope to make a bi-weekly staple. One of the reasons I created this site was to share heavy metal with a wider, reluctant (or maybe even suspicious) audience. I could have easily assigned a more approachable record (think: Baroness, Anciients, Mastodon), but our first guest writer encouraged me to give him something challenging and relentless. Jude Gullie is a corporate stooge, medicine man, John Candy connoisseur, and extremely talented chef. He was a vital part of the now-defunct folk crooners The Holy Crows and was one-third of the vaudevillian performance team The Broken Banjo Boys. Here is Jude’s take on A Caress of the Void, the latest album from New Jersey funeral doomsters Evoken. - MG
GUEST REVIEWER: JUDE GULLIE
When I heard that Mr. Growl wanted non-Metal fans to review albums for his blog I jumped at the opportunity. I had been wanting to listen to some Metal ever since I had the pleasure of watching a gentleman (who was listening to what I believe was metal) violently air-drumming next to me on the L train. Why should that guy be having all the fun?
My first assignment was to review the “Funeral Doom” band Evoken’s A Caress of the Void. I had never heard of “Funeral Doom” prior to this experience, but I will say that it piqued my interest. If I have ever talked with you more than a few minutes you would probably know that I have a morbid fascination with the character of Pallbearer from 1980s and 1990s WWF fame. (Editor’s Note: R.I.P - MG) I was really hoping that the music might invoke images of that fat man with white caked on makeup holding an urn. I was sorely mistaken.
I don’t know if it gets easier to understand this kind of music if you listen to it often, but I spent the majority of this album (all the parts with vocals) with my hand to my ear like an elderly man trying to listen to the soup specials being listed at a Friendly’s Restaurant. I could understand words like “me” and I think I heard the phrase “delicious skittles” at one point, but I wouldn’t put money on my being correct.
The more I listened to the album the more the mental image of the lead singer burping into a microphone while trying to form words popped into my head. That is how this type of music is made, right?
By around the fifth song “Descend the Lifeless Womb” I felt like I was in the groove of listening to the album, but the next song was thirteen minutes long! I found myself getting distracted and watching an “Easter Toys” ad on the side of the Grooveshark website. I did end up listening to the whole album, but I would say that I was not swayed to start listening to more metal.
Editor: NOOOOO! We were one 13 minute doom opus away from claiming the soul of another non-metal fan! Here’s hoping Jude will sign on for another review in the future. Maybe a grindcore album with 15 songs in 13 minutes is more his (hyper)speed? Thanks again to Jude for participating and being a good sport. Next time we will capture your soul and keep it in Paul Bearer’s urn for eternity.
Form your own opinion by finding Evoken on Spotify and learn more about them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/evokendoom