Three years after their debut, Hail The Void are back with the sophomore album, “Memento Mori”. The guys are fairly new to the scene, but with releases like this one it’s only a matter of time to gain more fan and media attention. The band consists of Kirin Gudmundson on vocals and guitar, Dean Gustin on bass, and Lucas McKinnon on drums and engineering. Derek Mattin (Samán, Olde Crow) mixed and produced the album, while Stuart McKillop (Seer, Unleash The Archers, etc.) did the mastering. Needless to say, the overall sound is heavy, punchy, raw and powerful on the whole.
Musically, Hail The Void blend doom metal, with stoner rock/metal along with several fuzzy, sludgy, 70s heavy rock elements and a few 70s psychedelic touches. From start to finish, the album takes the listener on a journey through dim and gloomy soundscapes, while also incorporating catchy melodies and stimulating lyrics.
The short opener “Mind Undone” serves as an intro for “Writing on the Wall”, a sludgy, heavy doom track with a haunting atmosphere. That’s a great way to start the album! “Goldwater” has a 70s heavy rock guitar riff that blends well with the stoner elements and the catchy chorus. “Talking to the Dead” is an intense track with evocative melodies and passionate vocals that create a creepy atmosphere that fits the lyrics. “High and Rising” is a stunning heavy rock & doomy track with various 70s references. Without a doubt, one of the album’s highlights! “100 Pills” slows things down a bit, showcasing the band’s ability to create emotive and moody music. I do fancy the 70s Sabbath influence son this one. Another favorite track of mine! “Serpens South” feature a calm, atmospheric verse that builds to a straightforward heavy chorus with impassionate vocals. “The Void” neatly concludes the album, creating a pleasant overall impression. Yet, each track on the album has its own distinct charm that contributes to the album’s overall cohesiveness.
Instrumentally, Hail The Void is firing on all cylinders on this album. The guitars are heavy and fuzzy, the rhythm section is tight, providing a solid foundation for the songs, and the vocals are really impassioned. Indeed, “Memento Mori” is not an easy listening album, and it requires repeated listens, so as to delve into its music depths. It will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the genre and beyond. If you’re looking for a raw, heavy and atmospheric album, “Memento Mori” is definitely worth a listen.