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'All Hail The Void'
(Southern Lord)

Sam Shepherd

sam shepherd

enabler all hail the void

Southern Lord are most readily associated with the ridiculously slow, droning sonic quakes of SunnO))), not least because the label was formed by Greg Anderson. Drone titans Earth and soundscape types Pelican have also released albums through the label, so when you think of Southern Lord, generally you'll think of time slowing down at ludicrous volume.

More recently, the label has taken on bands like Wolves In The Throne Room which have given the roster a slightly Blacker outlook, and with the likes of Wolfbrigade finding a home under the cowl of the dark one, the notion of Southern Lord sticking to drone alone is slowly being eroded.

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Enabler would have seemed out of place at Southern Lord a little while ago, but now they fit right in. Essentially they trade in full tilt Hardcore, but there's a little more depth and willingness to expand the template with 'All Hail The Void'.

Opening with an acoustic strum, 'F.A.T.H.' doesn't take long to explode into a rampant beast of high speed riffing and relentless drumming (provided, believe it or not, by former Fall Out Boy Andy Hurley). 'The Heathens' follows and revels in downtuned thunder and bluster.

Jeff Lohrber's roaring vocals provide a seemingly bottomless pit of fiery anger, but they're never overblown or overbearing. They may occasionally be a little one dimensional, but then vocal nuance isn't really at the top of the list of priorities here. Precision and brutality are however, and both are in abundance throughout the album.

If 'The Heathens' keeps things at a mid-paced groove, 'Speechless' ups the ante considerably and introduces elements of old school thrash into the mix. There are times when it sounds like a rather wonderful mix of primal Slayer and Mastodon, particularly when it segues from the slowed tempo of the midsection into the frantic riffing and soloing that closes the song.

'False Profit' draws its inspiration from Converge, exploding in a flurry of riffs and frantic drumming. The refrain of "no one is coming back from the dead" gives a vocal line for the song to hang on that means this will almost certainly become an anthemic live favourite.

The title track returns to familiar lurching, chugging territory, ensuring that it hits hard and heavy repeatedly, whilst the chorus is yet another chant along tribal moment.

'They Live We Sleep' finds the band heading in a different direction with a more considered, slower introduction, it'd be considered introspective if it didn't explode into frenzied life at the midpoint blitzing everything within reach. 'When They Live...' draws to a close, 'No Deliverance' picks up the baton and continues to thrash wildly in a manner not a million miles away from the Black 'n' Roll of Kvelertak.

On first listen, some might consider Enabler to be a little one dimensional but dig deeper and there's plenty going on here. Even for those not willing to put the time in, 'All Hail The Void' is so crammed with neck breaking riffs that it can't disappoint.



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