Written by Carcassbomb
- Ogień Pustki
- Melodic Black Metal
- Bialystok, Poland
- February 28, 2020
Voidfire are coming into the scene strong with a well presented debut album entitled Ogień Pustki, and it is a concept album “based on the theme of finding artistic inspiration in emotional suffering” according to the band. Immediately the most eye catching thing is the mysterious artwork, this time skipping Lewandowski and going straight to the source, a licensed piece from Zdzisław Beksiński made in 1976. It’s a bloody strong artwork to have and will surely find the band stuck in the minds of many this year. The sound on hand here is some tight melodic black metal for lonely hearts, with a kicking drum for marching into the gloom.
The unassuming clean guitar opening really sets the mood for melancholy before storming unto some raw black metal, hold the melody, it’s time will come. It’s a lengthy starting track that craftily exposes the base nerve of this album as it sifts through changes in tempos and styles including a sped up rendition of the clean open. The songs on this album tend to find a couple of points to stick to throughout the runtime, often reprising riffs and altering them slightly. It’s a very frustrated sound that also speaks of isolation, much like old school Forgotten Tomb. In total there are six tracks that fall either side of the seven minute mark, it’s a chunky boy despite the low track count.
The drumming has a nice sound to it, especially the crashing of the high hats in all the right places. The blast beats seem to change note in unison with the tremolo picking which sounds really cool, it’s not just cut and dry blast beats, there’s variation and minor details. I don’t know whether it’s the mixing or what but I enjoy these drums consistently across each track. The guitar tone is an interesting one and it can be hit or miss depending on the technique being used. It’s a clean tone that works really well on the hyper speed tremolo picking that would typically be done with a lot of gain – but never sounds like post black metal, it keeps it sharp in tune with the aggression of the black metal segments. It’s downfall however is that it sounds too artificial for the clean chord picking parts that would typically be done with an acoustic on many melodic black metal albums. It also doesn’t help that sometimes these chord progressions are picked way too fast.
One more thing about the guitars before I go onto the vocals, there’s moments where the guitar will soar during mini solos, it uses a different tone entirely and sounds amazing everytime it happens, it’s a rewarding part of the listening experience. I’ve been neglecting the rhythm guitar and honestly it’s great, does exactly what it should and brings the much needed emotive power chords that serve as a constant backdrop for the album.
Now about all that screaming, the vocals are pretty much spot on, there’s not much more you could ask for in a black metal album other than ghastly vocals scratching out polish lyrics. It’s that European aesthetic loved worldwide. They find a balance between lyric delivery and keeping a good rhythm which is surprising considering the vocalist didn’t write the lyrics, instead getting someone solely dedicated to the writing for the project.
Overall the album does get a bit repetitive with similar movements on each track and even the exact same or super close to the clean guitar chords that opened the album. There’s not a huge difference between the majority of the tracks, give or take a few random elements like whispered black metal vocals, field recording samples and the occasional solo. This won’t bother a lot of people, I know some love consistency across an album like this but for the sake of reviewing something, it does get a little tiring not really having anything new to say about any given track. The final closing track does mix it up a bit more giving a lot of time to the guitars and bass alone, which play some engaging synergized melodies, it might even be my favorite track. A break from the drums – despite how much I enjoy them – is an interesting idea and makes for a suitable outro that then brings the full elements back one last time like an explosion of energy and sadness in equal measure.
The final track redeemed the album quite a bit. It’s 45 minutes of black metal with good art, you won’t go wrong with Voidfire if you’re a black metal fan. I know many would appreciate this album for being ‘melodic’ without using symphonics or synth in any way. I’m sure they’ll refine their songwriting chops as future releases come out, either way it’s a strong foot in the door with this debut.