Coming out of Seattle, Washington; American band VOIDTHRONE released Kur on the 14th of May 2018. This is the second VOIDTHRONE release following their 2016 full length Spiritual War Tactics. Kur offers four tracks, one of which is an intro’ and so I’ve got to see it as an E.P. even though it’s described as an album.
A non-exaggerated way to describe the VOIDTHRONE sound is a well-produced and harnessed chaos. Full of earie dissonance and underlying beauty.
Kur is a little harder than most to digest but that is usually a great thing for me and where I’ll find the best stuff. Obviously, I’ve spent a lot of time with these 24 minutes of music on the basis that, 1) I was instantly intrigued and 2) I knew the music would unfold with each listen. Overwhelming at times, so grinding and cacophonous – yet I knew this offered more than just that. I was not wrong, (I rarely am). What turned to obsessive listening guided me to many treasures.
At times I was reminded of IMMOLATION and their use of straight up overpowering tonality along with riffs that are essentially off kilter Death Metal. Mac Boyd, Ronald Foodstack (Guitars) and Austin Schmalz (Bass) have taken the sound of their strings very seriously and the final result in the mix is a frighteningly heavy tone. A real presence not always achieved in other setups and mixes. At slower moments in the music the guitars seem like they’re mourning and longing… So soulfully. At other times they jangle and shimmering like a blade showing off a truly diverse team of guitarists. Drums are handled by Joshua Keifer’s powerful skillset and sense of timing. He offers us some very different than normal phrasing on his skins and really holds the pounding together for everyone’s benefit. Vocals are contributed by the happy go lucky character of Zhenya Frolov and a great job of the whole screaming, croaking and grunting game he does. He lends a ferocity to some of his screams that reek of fruitful determination and a weight to the beautifully dark lyrics. There’s use of traditional Thai instruments within Kur including the Thai Phin and Thai Flute or ‘Khuipiengaor’ that really help give VOIDTHRONE a distinction and fit like a glove with extreme music like this. I find the Flute has a particularly haunting sound when it’s played by their guest musician, Pawared Phungrod. He’s able to coax audible evil out of this thing and it goes down and stands out a treat.
The distinctive and colourful cover artwork was painted by VOIDTHRONE guitarist Ronald Foodsack along with the recording and mixing – good job Ronald, you’re clearly a talented and busy chap. Kur was Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Mastering in America. A place that has handled many an extreme band and helped coax the sound out of the likes of Obituary, Sunn O)))) and Nails. A flawless job has been achieve with VOIDTHRONE too.
The real story here is that VOIDTHRONE have found their sound and themselves along with it. Kur can stand proud among the growing mass of Blackened Death Metal.
I strongly suggest that you find Kur on Bandcamp and make a purchase. Only then will you fully understand what they have achieved.