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Voidhaven : Voidhaven (EP)

This debut EP from largely ex-Crimson Swan members is a brief, pleasant, but not radical, listen.

I may have this wrong but it appears that Voidhaven came into being after Crimson Swan mainman Robert Franz moved from Hamburg to Frieburg, taking the band name with him. An amicable parting of the ways ensued with his former band members and he enlisted an all new ensemble of musicians. The rest of Crimson Swan became Voidhaven, completed by Ophis guitarist Philipp Kruppa. Crimson Swan's 2015 release 'Unlit' had its faults, noticeably in the clean vocals, but for what it was, it wasn't too bad. (Its final track gives Voidhaven their name). Snippets of Death Doom interrupting the heavily atmospheric Gothic Metal. Not exactly trailblazing, but well composed if nothing else.

From the two tracks on offer here it appears that Voidhaven are following a not too dissimilar path to Crimson Swan. More lead guitar lines here though, which were a standout quality of 'Unlit', along with less piano and overall keyboard driven atmospheres. Good news also that vocalist Simon Shorneck has risen to the challenge of ironing out those minor offences from his days in Crimson Swan. There are less of the poorly worked harmonies, and instead a far more confident, direct and to the point singular attack both in the clean singing and the growels. The guitars follow a more simplistic Death Doom path which you can happily trace all the way back to the very birth of the genre, and there are a few Gothic moments woven into the overall picture, adding much atmosphere and pathos.

Voidhaven's bandmembers aren't ignoring their past endeavours in Crimson Swan by any means in their new venture, but more than once, and somewhat surprisingly, the two tracks break down into slow and far heavier sounding moments that appear to have been forged in the mists of Yorkshire back in 1992. Their Gothic tones too owe much to My Dying Bride's mixture of the Death and Gothic styles. So, two tracks that don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but overall are not too bad at all, and because it's a short EP it doesn't outstay its welcome. That said, I'm definitely somewhat curious to hear whatever they put out next.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. The Floating Grave
2. Beyond The Bounds Of Sleep

Duration : Approx. 18 minutes

Visit the Voidhaven bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-06-10 by Matt Halsey
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