Review Summary: A decent offering ultimately lost unto the Void
Upon first listen of the latest War of Ages release, Void, I wasn’t exactly sure what I had on my hands. It was almost like walking in on a strange ritual in a deserted church, conducted with both snapbacks and trilbies, with sacraments offered in both Monster Energy Zero Ultra and Virgin Marys. My last (and only) experience with War of Ages was 2007’s Fire from the Tomb, which was largely a standard, late ‘00s metalore romp. I was taken aback at the auditory development unfolding before me, but soon warmed to the artistic swing, and before too long I was nodding my head along to Void’s various groove-laden melodies.
War of Ages, at present, is a heavy-handed Christian metalcore band with djent leanings. Void gets off to a fairly bizarre start, with "The Watchers" introducing white boy rap shouting (not the only appearance they make on the album) over jazzy chords, before straightening out into a straightforward trend of djent-influenced metalcore with ambient sections sprinkled in for good measure. After a while, both the grooves and technical fills come in a steady flow, with clean-sung choruses ever-present in the majority of the songs, making Void both accessible and involving. To be clear, the musicianship is good, but nothing you have not heard before; it simply serves to enhance the standard metalcore foundation upon which War of Ages builds. Songs like the atmospheric “Miles Apart,” the upbeat “Greed,” and the bouncing and blast-beating “Wrath,” all pull off this sonic evolution soundly and are easy to bang your head to, despite the underlying impression that this progression might be slightly contrived in attempt to keep up with the current metal scene’s popular trends.
Production is clear and listenable in several varied environments, which is always a positive. Guitar tone is precise with a decent backbone in the bass. The vocals occupy a middle ground in the mix, while the drums effectively wrap around everything else.
I enjoyed listening to Void a lot more than I expected to. Though it does not break any new ground, the majority of the songs are well executed with solid, memorable djent-influenced grooves and just enough technical flair to engage my oft-fleeting brain. Though some of the tracks may be a bit redundant (Sulphur and Salt), and others represent stylistic missteps (Jezebel), this is still a decent offering from a band that started out as bog standard Christian metalcore, but may ultimately get overlooked amongst the oceans of other metalcore bands fighting to get noticed.