Conan
Existential Void Guardian


4.0
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
September 16th, 2018 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Adrenaline pumped caveman battle doom…

I had high hopes for Existential Void Guardian since the moment its release was announced. Conan got better with each LP and Revengeance was definitely the most cohesive and stirring one overall. The punishing riffs were huge and really heavy, no matter how slow or fast. Nevertheless, much like Monolord, the sludge/doom trio reached a crossroads too. I was wondering about the direction the British act would take, because being signed to a bigger label and touring constantly could lead to a bad decision like becoming more accessible. Their Swedish peers have done that on Rust to often mixed results, so the last thing I wanted was these guys to soften their sound.

Thankfully, they didn't, plus Conan didn't rest on their laurels either. At only 35 minutes, Existential Void Guardian ditches a large part of their crawling epics to focus more on faster paced sludge. Opener ‘Prosper on the Path’ kicks in like a sledgehammer with battering riffage and pounding drums. The raging vocals are a trademark already, just like the song's pile driving coda. ‘Eye to Eye to Eye’ continues the slaughter using a cool groove with several tempo drops and drum fills in between. The second half shares some hallucinatory doom progressions that would make Jus Oborn’s heart melt. Meanwhile, ‘Volt Thrower’ constantly switches from swinging to straightforward beats, whereas the guitar & bass are busy blowing the cabinets’ speakers out through fuzz drenched chords. The group also squeezed a minute-long, noise punk ditty, ‘Paincantation’ much to everyone’s surprise. They always had this energy in them, so cutting length and speeding the tempos for a prolonged while created this refreshing, adrenaline pumped monster. Even the sluggish cuts are shorter, none running longer than 7 minutes. ‘Amidst the Infinite’ and ‘Eternal Silent Legend’ will please those looking for slow burners. Both make good use of downtuned, ringing notes, the latter benefiting from Chris Fielding’s (bass) lower pitched screams. He should make more consistent appearances, because they nicely complement Jon Davis’ (guitar) higher voice. Moreover, ‘Vexxagon’ is probably the most brutal track here, boasting extremely distorted riffs, plus the halfway gear shift stomps like a boot in your face.

Surprisingly enough, Existential Void Guardian is also the easiest to listen in Conan’s catalog. Its short time span and faster paced material will surely help those who haven’t gotten into the British trio’s music or pave the way to discover other gems such as Revengeance or Horseback Battle Hammer. Also, their latest record enriches the sonic palette through its strong tracks that should be in your playlists. The band is gradually becoming one of the essential sludge/doom acts, so don’t miss out on this.




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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2018


4618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another excellent Conan album. A must listen!



'Volt Thrower' (official video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kY8-Vhiq7w

Stream full album here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLReZbithUg

Digging: Thomas Dybdahl - All These Things

JayEnder
September 16th 2018


2357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oooh this looks interesting. Will check!

Digging: GHOSTEMANE - N/o/i/s/e

bigguytoo9
September 16th 2018


477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's my fave Conan record so far.

MetalMarcJK
September 16th 2018


80 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Rarely am I blown away by an album after only three days, and even more rare am I blown away on the very first listen. This album hit me hard on that first listen and, three days and several listens later, I am floored. This album is amazing! I can't believe that I'm 4.5'ing it after only three days, but it's just that good.



Caveman Battle Doom is back! Hail Conan!

Digging: Voivod - The Wake

Jeejee
September 17th 2018


69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album absolutely rules. Best Conan record since Monnos. Also that cover artwork is some of the coolest ever.

dbizzles
September 17th 2018


12276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best output since Blood Eagle imo.

JayEnder
September 17th 2018


2357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rules.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2018


4618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, after a couple of listens I realized this is one of their best stuff.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2018


1387 Comments


Skipped that last one but Blood Eagle got prettt heavy rotation from me back in 2014

Digging: Coheed and Cambria - Vaxis - Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures

parksungjoon
September 17th 2018


8320 Comments


caveman battle doom

rockandmetaljunkie
September 17th 2018


7406 Comments


holy fuck

rockandmetaljunkie
September 17th 2018


7406 Comments


i'm getting this asap

parksungjoon
September 17th 2018


8320 Comments


insomniac15 most underrated staffer on this site tbh

DDDeftoneDDD
September 17th 2018


2108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

will do this

Digging: Parius - The Eldritch Realm

rockandmetaljunkie
September 17th 2018


7406 Comments


you have to love songs with titles such as "Eternal Silent Legend"

parksungjoon
September 17th 2018


8320 Comments


what about songs with titles such as The Fetishization ov Asian Women Despite a Demand for a Pure White Race (Outro)

rockandmetaljunkie
September 17th 2018


7406 Comments


not short 'n' sweet like Conan's

JS19
September 17th 2018


6844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Band released a hell of a lot of snooze to finally make something good eh

Digging: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - King of Cowards

deezer666
September 17th 2018


3696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah never really felt Conan at all. Hoping this changes that.

Digging: Remote Viewing - Blood Loss

JayEnder
September 17th 2018


2357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Vexxagon is soooo good



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