Hope Drone
Void Lustre


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (291 Reviews)
August 31st, 2019 | 22 replies


Release Date: 08/30/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With room for all things desolate, the bottom of the void yields more of a sheen than the band’s previous engagements.

I want to wind things back a little here. Hope Drone’s (self-titled) debut is an ambitious, defining piece for metal. I’m not saying it’s innovative in the genres to which it sits on both sides of the fence - but the gritty, hybridization into the world of post-meets-black metal had a certain intent about it. It’s the kind of music that allows for easier hyperbolic descriptions, yet doesn’t define “how” this music should be enjoyed. It was (and still is) a refreshing take on a genre focused on combining ‘twinkly’ elements with the usual discord and dissonance. The group’s sophomore had a similar effect, but it’s ambition was again dialed up a notch. Cloak Of Ash became more expansive than expected; especially in run time (being more than double the length of the debut) which lost a few listeners along the way. This year’s Void Lustre continues Hope Drone’s ambitious tendency, but dials in some much needed focus to their lush isolation of sound. Void Lustre is an emotionally raw landscape, bolstered by a giving production and ensnaring atmosphere.

The album’s opening piece, “Being Into Nothingness” immediately starts the immersion into Hope Drone’s latest effort. A graceful, yet ominous charge of cleans highlights the natural progression of the Australian group’s musical maturity. The thirteen minute track may dictate itself to the same patience strangling tones found in the sophomore, but there’s something more developed here. Each light note and soft percussion lends itself to a completely immersive atmosphere. A slow build turns into a painstakingly crafted crescendo of sorts and Hope Drone are suddenly at full tilt, engrossed completely into this endearment of black metal that’s truer to the band’s debut than the genre it’s labelled under. If Cloak Of Ash was ever too much of a journey for the listener, the shorter Void Lustre carries itself with better momentum, keeping with it an organic, melancholic feel defined again by this uncanny ability to meld atmosphere and dragging almost-crawling riffs. In places, Void Lustre is predictable enough, but it’s these common foundations that hold the listener to a more accessible foundation of sound. The icy riffs that dominate “In Floods & Depths” is sinister, visceral and juxtaposes most of the record’s other compositions. Instrumentally speaking, this is the “truest” Hope Drone has sounded in their career, but its sound is help to the same foundation to which all the band’s music comes. There’s a beauty here, hidden in the jagged edges and desolate aggression. It’s not something that comes easily, but is made all the more important to the expression itself. Hope Drone show here that there’s not always going to be abstention.

Void Lustre has an air of finality, yet it’s pensive to the core. The album’s final track takes even less of the atmosphere on offer and straightens it into a restrained clime in its place. It’s fitting that Hope Drone would close as they open; in simplicity, given the space to breathe without the over complication of genre stereotypes. It’s a seventeen minute epic of simple grandiosity, complementing the rest of the album without repetition. “In Shifting Lights” occasionally dips into the nuances that made Cloak Of Ash such an ambitious, yet challenging listen, This time around however, it’s more rewarding to the listener that can persevere through a deluge of undecipherable lyricism and repetitively heart-wrenching musicianship.

Hope Drone continues to captivate with organic minimalism (whether it be the feedback induced tail end of “This Body Will Be Ash” or the quiet cleans of “Being Into Nothingness”) juxtaposed to those consistently abrasive jagged instrumental sections that carry one theme of despair to another of melancholy and subtle hope. Sure, the shorter run time allows Void Lustre to be more easily held onto than its predecessor, yet it’s (speaking in terms of sonic ability) more challenging than the sophomore and in turn, the band’s debut. Despite the rather obvious short-coming of the album’s overall length and a tendency to occasionally tune its listeners out, Hope Drone’s 2019 piece is more digestible than the monolithic nature in Cloak Of Ash, using its repetitive phrases to hypnotize its listeners, carrying them on this journey of sound. Void Lustre is more about the clashing, growing atmosphere than the pilgrimage of abrasive black metal juxtapositions found before it.



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user ratings (14)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2019


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to this here:



https://hopedrone.bandcamp.com/album/void-lustre



Comments, criticism, and discussion on how the saxophone should be played if played in reverse all welcome.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2019


7999 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ayyy you did the thing!



Will probs read after I listen tonight but pos

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Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2019


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thankee Slex, I hope you enjoy : ]

zaruyache
August 31st 2019


21305 Comments


wooo a review for this thing! I've had one for their last album sitting in a google doc for like ten thousand years I never finished ooof.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2019


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've had one for their last album sitting in a google doc for like ten thousand years I never finished




think I can legit say the same, should probably dig it up and finish that

Hawks
September 4th 2019


73570 Comments


Still have never jammed this band for some reason. I gotta give this some listens. m/

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2019


25964 Comments


This band bores me to tears, but I will try and endure them for you Rob ;]

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garas
September 4th 2019


1810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmmm, the black metal and the drone tags together? This must be good.

Edit: yep, this is goooooood.

Digging: Xasthur - Suicide in Dark Serenity

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2019


25964 Comments


these guys aren't really drone at all, not sure why that tag is on here


but speaking of, do you like fell voices?

garas
September 4th 2019


1810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've never heard about them, but the Metallum says they make drone/ambient black metal - so I shall check out some of their music.

deezer666
September 4th 2019


4960 Comments


Really like 'Cloak of ash' and this is great so far

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Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2019


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely not a Sun 0))) drone that's for sure. The drone comes from the repeating ideas

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2019


7999 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really liked some of this/was just totally indifferent to some of this

bloc
September 5th 2019


57583 Comments


I am really liking that album art

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trilo
September 5th 2019


2742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dug their last album (although it dragged after a bit) so imma jam this m/

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SpicyPikachu1
September 5th 2019


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Probably labeled as drone because it is in the band name? (I kid, I know the reason as to why it was labeled as drone was mentioned).



About the album though, I thought it was pretty damn solid atmo-black, but the songs drag way too long for their own good.

Wizard
September 5th 2019


20219 Comments


I enjoyed their last album so this is on my list. Good review buddy!

zaruyache
September 5th 2019


21305 Comments


a wild wizard sighting, wow

osmark86
September 8th 2019


9216 Comments


Queued

trilo
September 10th 2019


2742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this rules albeit it's lacking standout moments like their last album



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