Originally forming in 1999 briefly as Valhalla, resurrected in 2010 and settling into their current niche of melodic black Metal after a seven year hiatus, Russian melodic black Metal trio Negative Voice have finally released their debut full length 'Infinite Dissonance'.
It has taken fourteen years, a name change, line-up changes, expanding from a duo to a trio, their sound moving from a thrash/death/symphonic black Metal to a more blackened death Metal and now to melodic black Metal and countless demos, but the final result is worth the wait and the effort.
Andrey/Obscurus is joined by guitarist Evgeny Loginov (ex-Exventer), and a drummer Konstantin Pavlov (Inis)for this debut release, an album of eight reworked tracks, each originating from a different period of the band's history with most of the tracks featured on their 2010 EP 'Unearthed Ffrom Oblivion' and their 2012 demo album 'Dissonance' and the result is an album of almost an hour's duration that is a superb listen.
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The musicianship across the release is excellent, beautiful guitar work that is a clever mix of bleak, dark and mournful combined with melodic and uplifting elements and reminded me a touch of 'Daylight Dies' in places. The rasping tortuous vocals from Obscurus are a little bit unusual but very good; they add a unique slant to the overall sound an give a very blackened edge to the bleak picture created by the guitars.
The songs are well crafted, each has as a haunting quality and takes you on a dark and desolate journey.
Although the tracks originally featured on previous releases covering a broad period of time there is a strong sense of flow and continuity between the tracks, making it a great album to relax, reflect and drift with. Although I loved the whole album and choosing a favourite is difficult, there was an edge to 'Grey Pools Heaven' which featured previously on both 'Dissonance' and 'Unearthed From Oblivion'. It has a very dark, haunting and emotive quality and there is also a brief nod to Vesania in the riffs.
It was also the shortest track at just over five minutes, the average being around the six minute mark, compared to the opening track 'Dissonance' at over seven minutes and the closer, 'Rejection', almost clocking ten minutes, yet none of the tracks seemed overlong, the well placed use of tempo change and meandering style which left you not quite knowing what would come next and justified the length of the tracks.
The album was recorded by the Wieslawski brothers in Hertz Recording studio, (Behemoth, Vader, Vesania, Decapitated, Hate) which is more often than not an indicator of a good album, particularly here, as personally I have been blown away by this release. I think it's excellent and the good news is that currently 'Negative Voice' are working on a second album.