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(70:09, Phonosphera Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Message From the Galactic Federation 15:14 2. The Morning 13:02 3. The Eternaut 18:10 4. Unnamed 23:43 LINEUP: Gianmarco Lantaffi guitar; vocals Cristiano Lodi synthesizers Sonia Caporossi bass Marco Cenci drums
Prolusion. According to its website, the Italian band VOID GENERATOR landed on planet Earth in 1998. Since then they have issued two full-length albums, of which "Phantom Hell and Soar Angelic" is the most recent, released on the small indie label Phonosphera Records in May 2010.
Analysis. Alongside the description of them landing on Earth, the brief but entertaining biography of the band on their homepage further suggests an existence 10 million years long. But, besides being an entertaining work of fiction, this kind of spoof biographical description will undoubtedly lead many to suspect that this ensemble represents a genre in which such fanciful write-ups are rather common the type of art rock that is most often regarded as space rock, which, in this case, would be about halfway correct. A common musical detail with such endeavors is the use of electronic sounds by way of keyboards and synthesizers of various kinds providing sounds inspired by notions of deep space and, to some extent, science fiction. Movies to a somewhat greater degree than books as such, I surmise, as most novels in the genre deal with music at a superficial level at best, while the movie industry has been highly inventive as far as trying to feed our imaginations with what the future will sound like. But whereas dedicated space rock acts have this as a central and often dominant part of their proceedings, this is a band that utilizes those effects as subdued flavorings. A much more distinct and common features are repetitive movements and fragmented instrument sounds more commonly associated with what has been coined as krautrock, but again not in a manner that defines the exploits of this band. The thing is that both these features are woven into creations sporting a rather different musical approach altogether. Opening track Message From the Galactic Federation kicks off with a surging, energetic stoner rock theme, lightly flavored by keyboards, as previously described, and when taking on the staccato, circulating krautrock-inspired approach in the second half it is with massive, compact dark-toned riffs that rather easily will make one think about early Black Sabbath more than anything else. And the stoner or doom metal flavor is the dominant one throughout. Supported by Pink Floyd-ian, dampened guitar soloing, as in the unnamed final track, or blended with a gentle psychedelic flavor and slightly lighter-toned guitars and ethereal piano on The Morning and The Eternaut, both creations come across as something of a blend between Black Sabbath and the most progressive creations of another giant from the 70's, namely Led Zeppelin. But all the time with slight details from krautrock and space rock thrown into the blender, and occasionally in a manner that can hardly be described as either slight or detailed when it comes to that. It is the metal aspect of this CD which is the one that stands out however, and at least for this production the one that defines this band best. It is somewhat too elongated as well as too repetitive for my personal taste on this occasion, but the bands skill, talent and dedication are easy to spot. Fans of this kind of material will mostly enjoy every second of this doom-laden, dark-toned inner and outer space trip.
Conclusion. Void Generator has crafted an album sporting a sound and style that in this particular blend hasn't been taken on by others too often. Epic-length excursions, the shortest clocking in at just over 13 minutes, combining droning guitars, doom-laden riffs and swirling keys with the repetitive hypnotism of krautrock aren't everyday fare for sure, and those who enjoy or think they will enjoy such a mix will most likely find this CD to be a welcome addition to their collection.
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