Trancelike Void

Picture of Trancelike Void

Destroying Something Beautiful

Trancelike Void - Destroying Something Beautiful ©2008 De Tenebrarum Principio
1. Prelude: Descent
2. Part I: Everything Fails
3. Interlude I: Daydream
4. Part II: Fragile Consciousness
5. Interlude II: Nightmare
6. Part III: Total Desolation
7. Epilogue: Escape

So it would appear emo is not the only form of music that has a serious hankering to take on depressive moods. Black metal has spawned a subset that focuses entirely on depression, featuring the likes of Abyssic Hate among others. One of the more recent entries into this field is Belgium's Trancelike Void, a black metal band that features a minimalized approach mixed with quiet dark ambient music. The debut album, Destroying Something Beautiful, portrays the band's vision with mixed results.

Destroying Something Beautiful alternates between the sublime ambient passages and long, repetitive, slow black metal riffing. The metal songs are quite simple, which is entirely the point. The chords are repeated throughout, creating a decent mood. The ambient sections are actually fairly good, particularly when you consider a lot of metal bands end up creating goofy horror movie soundtracks when attempting any sort of ambient music. Robert Rich would be proud. However, the biggest flaw to this debut is the production is very bad. And this is coming from a genre where raw production is one of the defining idioms. Unpolished is one thing, but Destroying Something Beautiful is a tough listen due to the production being so weak. The sound is condensed and has a muddy bottom end. In fact, I have played this on three different speaker or headphone setups and it doesn't sound good on any of them. While I appreciate what Trancelike Void is going for on the album, the sound quality is enough to keep me from wanting to play this very often. And that's a shame since this band is onto something with their approach.

At best, Destroying Something Beautiful should be considered a demo, and not a well produced one at that. Some care and effort in the recording process would serve Trancelike Void well in the future.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2008

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Silhouettes of Misery

Silhouettes of Misery ©2010 Down the Road Productions
1. Paranoid Melancholy
2. One Bridge Drowned
3. Blood
4. An Essence of Tragedy

On Trancelike Void's second full length go around, this duo decided to eschew the black metal mixed with electronics approach for a different musical idea to convey their evident despair at the world/girlfriends/tiger attacks/dark matter/whatever happens to be making them blue. Silhouettes of Misery is a result of that new idea, which happens to be a single approach spread over four very long songs. This album features nothing but acoustic and/or clean guitar strummed over distant, echoing percussion. That's it. The album doesn't progress into different ideas or expand up on that single basic idea. Much like their debut, the initial idea is relatively decent, but apparently Trancelike Void lacks the patience to build upon things to create an album that has variety beyond the first couple of minutes. The songs are essentially interchangeable. Even for quiet background music while reading books, this music falls short.

Trancelike Void appears to be one of those bands who is going to churn out album after album of half baked ideas and music that quickly overstays its welcome. Silhouettes of Misery could be condensed into a song lasting less than four minutes. This album will not induce a trance and yes, it is something you should avoid. This is self indulgence at its worst and thoroughly dull.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2011

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