On the Blackest of Nights (2012) is the debut full-length album by Swedish doom metal act Void Moon. The band has previously released a couple of demo’s, one of which was repackaged as a limited run of 500 coloured vinyl. On the Blackest of Nights features many of the songs the band previously produced in demo form but also a few that haven’t been released before. Three come from the band’s first demo and a further two from the second. There are nine tracks on the album resulting in just shy of forty minutes of music.
The music of On the Blackest of Nights is the sort doom metal that strictly follows the traditional doom metal form. On the Blackest of Nights has a sound that is characterised by heavy guitars, a usually slow tempo, a very audible bass, and clean vocals that have a bit of a rough edge to them without being in any way harsh. I think the band’s vocalist Jonas Gustavsson has a really excellent voice for this sort of music. He both has both a killer voice for any sort of classic metal, but can also sound really despairing which suits the doom atmosphere perfectly. The title track is a great example of this. The riffs and melodies, courtesy of Gustavsson and Erika Wallberg, make Void Moon’s music just as appealing to me though. Between them they craft both heavy and light sections of music that keep the album flowing really well, ultimately resulting in the seven and a half minute Among the Dying towards the end of the album, a clear highlight for sure.
However, despite sticking to the doom formula, I can imagine the release appealing even to those who like their music a bit more uplifting. The songs are full of memorable choruses and are really easy to get your head nodding to. The opener Hammer of Eden showcases that right off the bat, and the tracks continue deliver the same high quality goods throughout the album. There’s never a moment that lets the albums high standard down and that very impressive for a debut full-length. One of the instrumentals, The Burning Court, is however so short (thirty-six seconds) that I have to wonder what purpose it really serves, but I guess you could say that’s more of an observation than a complaint, and if I’m honest with myself if band’s are going to insist on including these interlude type tracks then I’d much rather everyone following Void Moon’s example and made those tracks actual music rather than dialogues or weird sound effects which are becoming all too common in today’s metal scene.
On the Blackest of Nights is a high quality debut offering from Void Moon. Doom metal isn’t really one of those genres I’ve given much attention to over the years but I can always rely on the band’s label Cruz Del Sur Music to show me just how much I’m missing. Last year, it was the album Boldly Stride the Doomed by Argus. This year it is Void Moon’s On the Blackest of Nights. An exceptional grade rating is easily deserved.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))