CONAN — Existential Void Guardian (review)

CONAN — Existential Void Guardian album cover Album · 2018 · Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Released in 2018, “Existential Void Guardian” is the fourth full length studio album by UK doom metal titans Conan. It’s a release which carries on in a similar vein to the preceding albums. This is certainly not a negative point as the consistently high standard of said releases is commendable and on this one, the songwriting has an even greater level of sophistication.

As usual, we are instantly lambasted with an impenetrable storm of monumental riffs from which there is no escape. The guitar tone is beyond powerful and is amongst the densest I’ve ever heard. This is accompanied by angst ridden and enraged vocals which are reminiscent of Scott Kelly. The overall vibe is somewhat a fusion of the abrasive, pained anger of Neurosis and the slow stoner doom of Sleep but avoiding the whole idea of creating a 1 hour long track from a handful of riffs and jam-like solos.

Aside from the songwriting, one thing that stands out from previous releases is the production - clearer, warmer and more professional sounding without going so far as to sound overly polished. This is ideal for not compromising the delightfully ludicrous levels of heaviness in the music.

“Existential Void Guardian” is an utterly crushing album and truly provides the sense of an impending disaster looming on the horizon. If doom metal is your thing, you should familiarise yourself with Conan’s material if you have not already.
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