I don’t know why it is that Polish death metal vocalists have the raucous tone of people who have indulged in large quantities of vodka and spent their time in smoke-filled rooms, but Voidhanger’s Warcrimer is the archetype of the breed. That’s just the vocals. Crashing drums, thrashing fury and even punk-like malevolence mark the style of “Dark Days of the Soul”, the band’s third album.
Breathing time is not allowed as the musicians attack their instruments with fury and speed. There’s nothing subtle about “Death Wish” but this clearly isn’t about birds, bees, milk and honey. It’s nasty and aggressive, and the throaty vocalist reminds us of this particular song’s title with regularity. But this isn’t exclusively a thrashfest. Impressively, “Naprzód Donikąd” (Forward to Nowhere) starts creepily before swamping us in power and aggression. The change of tempo makes us sit up and listen. It’s all hard-hitting, and as another death-thrash anthem tells us, high on hate. This one even has a hardcore style chorus. It’s classic stuff – punish us listeners and then just stop without apology or warning. Voidhanger don’t care. They just continue with one raging romp after another. I found myself being swept along in the furious wind. Pleasingly, the wave of violence and power seems to get stronger. “The Void is Where the Heart Is” pulls no punches, or perhaps better put another way, typically punches are not spared. “Die shouts the vocalist. “War is Certain. Peace is Not” starts. There’s definitely a punkish element to this hate-filled piece of anger. A tempo change is used to good effect and the background wall of sound develops before we go back to the furious point of this belligerent piece and finally its death-ridden end. To finish, “Hailing the Devil in Me” grinds us down like a butcher at work.
There are no frills and there’s no messing about here. I like it. “Dark Days of the Soul” makes for great listening and active participation in Voidhanger’s grizzly world. It’s a blast of explosive fresh air.
(8.5/10 Andrew Doherty)