Virtuosity bereft of emotion be damned. If the songs don’t stick in the listener’s mind after the album’s finished, you’ve failed as an artist. This carries over to painting, the printed page, practically any form of would-be artistic expression. Art ceases to be art when “Look what I can do!” takes precedence over “This is how I feel.”, or even more so, “How does this make you feel?”.
Three years after its debut full-length, VOIDCEREMONY returns with Threads Of Unknowing. The title track is an onion, multilayered, yet the skin is unwound, almost see-through in its viscosity, riffs and melodies intertwining, rhythms alternately pulsing and pounding, an abbreviated but alluring introduction.
‘Writhing In The Façade Of Time’ is more expansive at over twice the length, our first chance to really decide if we’re listening to a decorative stitching of silken time signatures and technicality – beautiful to look at, but not much to keep you warm on a chilly night – or actual songcraft, durable patchwork fabric stitched together with care in a desire to create something lasting. The solo work by Messrs. Tougas and Johnson first grabbing the attention at 1:56, Damon Good’s basswork displaying DiGiorgio-esque flexibility, and all the while C.K.’s jazz-borne rhythms managing to both entertain and impress, a feat not as simple as one would imagine.
From its start more overtly progressive in the traditional sense, ‘Entropic Reflections Continuum’ is also tuned lower, sometimes (dare I say it?) slower overall than most of what’s to be found on Threads Of Unknowing, yet the relatively open spaces give the music itself room to breathe and the listener time to reorient, choose which of the myriad elements offered to focus on.
At over 11 minutes, ‘Forlorn Portrait: Ruins Of An Ageless Slumber’ takes up nearly 1/3rd of the album, unthinkable for most, ambitious for all, and, in this case, daring despite the foursomes obvious proficiency. The guitars from 1:02-1:23 lend an almost jazz/blues flavor to this sonic jambalaya, returning at almost exactly the halfway mark, and leading into what might be a disjointed classic thrash bridge, were everything not coming as us from all sides and simultaneously.
When it comes down to it, what has VOIDCEREMONY created? Will everyone get the same feeling from it? No, most assuredly. Will everyone love it? No, most assuredly. And I don’t even know if I do; but what I do know is that the only true beauty of art lies in its interpretation. And thus, Threads Of Unknowing succeeds.
Review By: Lord Randall
Threads Of Unknowing
20 Buck Spin