Reviewer: Aurora Kuczek
Band Name: Vision Serpent
Album Title: Call of the Void
VISION SERPENT developed a diverse arrangement of musical presentation in their 2020 album entitled Call of the Void. The Hopewell, New York project can be characterized as typical old school death metal with an incorporation of modern metal patterns. They cite well-known sounds from BLACK SABBATH and CANNIBAL CORPSE as influences, yet their music is also reminiscent of modern doom and death metal, and even ancestral metal. This eclectic compound of styles makes the project well perceived as it offers an opportunity of likeability to each listener involved. Though such a combination may be considered problematic and distracted, VISION SERPENT is able to maintain its rhythm and atmospheric content throughout the album. However, digress from their main approach does occur in tracks such as the abrupt vocal shift in “Ashen Headstones” and the pleasant melodic synths at the beginning of “Call of the Void” featured as one of the last tracks off the album. The similarities between each track are strangely unnoticeable if not interpreted carefully: “The Abyss” and “Meant to Fall” seem to mirror each other as if the tunes were a reflection of one another, while “Call of the Void” and “Return of the Void” are set up, seemingly intentional, to mimic one another.
The album is well-produced, but was predictable, malleable, and almost taste-able at times: I could palpably sense the pattern of ebbs of flows after the first couple of songs. Despite this, each track maintained a sense of unpredictability in its presentation of predictable sounds. Each track featured rises and falls of musical intensity from the guitars. Some notes were drawn out to catch the tide of the bass such as in “Ashen Headstones,” while others felt like jumbled words strung loosely together on a soft string such as in “Sacrifice” or “Forget the Faceless.” While the lyrics were mostly indecipherable, adhering to typical death metal growls but with ancestral influences, tracks like “Forget the Faceless” added a peculiar depth to the album that enhances the listener’s curiosity. Thus, VISION SERPENT was adept in allowing the listener to slowly drift with the thudding sound of their crafted melodies, but tightly grasp them shortly after through jarring unexpectedness. As the riffs spiral into a sequence of aligning notes, the drums ripen the pace of the music.
It was clear that these pieces were well-rehearsed, stewed over, and re-established for a perfectionist’s instrumental alignment that seemed to stick with one key over the course of the album. Overall, Call of the Void was an exquisite journey of colorful hymns, and a reminder of days past brought to light in a modern formulation.