Released: 2014, WolfSpell Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Birmingham has long been known as the home of heavy metal, and has consistently over the years seen birth of some of the heaviest bands to come out of the UK scene, including Sabbath, Napalm Death and Anaal Nathrakh. Recent years has seen the city spit out yet another band, Arrogant Destruktor. Returning this year with Amidst the Blackened Void, the album is their first full-length and marks the follow up to their demo released just last year. While many have been labelling them old school black metal, there are healthy doses of thrash that help set them apart from many playing under that label bearing much greater resemblance to early works from blackened thrash titans Sodom than anything released by Mayhem or Gorgoroth.
Being a two-piece, the pair has enlisted the help of live Anaal Nathrakh drummer Steve Powell and Current93/Cancer drummer Carl Stokes on Amidst the Blackest Void. While they may have racked up a couple of impressive names to play on the album, it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. The album cycles through 40 minutes of standard blackened thrash, with each song barely standing out from the other. With almost every song descending into tremolo picking at some point in the intro, it’s hard not to quickly become despondent with the write by numbers approach to the music that seems to have been taken with this release.
What the album lacks most however is tone. The production on the album is not so much raw, but murky, dulling any impact this record was hoping to create. With home recording infinitely more accessible today than it has ever been, the poor production quality makes the album seen juvenile.
Amidst the Blackest Void may appeal to people who live and breathe the genre, but for the most part remains a mediocre album that fails at capturing any rawness of emotion. While this may be a band to watch out for on the scene, they don’t seem ready to quite be immortalized on CD just yet.
Review by Caitlin Smith