If Ever Hades Spoke from metalcore/melodic death metal band Void Of Kings is another release that managed to so far escape a review since it was sent through to us but we always get there in the end which is good as the EP is a rather tasty little beast that grabs attention with its intense demanding sounds whilst showing the band as one with much promise.
The band was formed in 2010 and has shared stages with the likes of Impending Doom, Becoming the Archetype, Periphery as well as taking part in the 2011 Thrash and Burn tour, already in their short but impressive life. If Ever Hades Spoke is the debut from the band which since its release has marked them as ones to definitely watch out for.
The release opens with Unseen and takes no time in ripping a deep fissure upon the senses. Immediately one is drawn to the fine and well crafted guitar work from Dan Maloney and Grant Rizzi, both creating sharp melodic intrusions that are as inviting as the heavily intense riffs they also bring are destructive. The bass of Chris Cheney balances the acidic expressive play alongside him with a prowling bestial presence whilst the drums of Jake Livingston puncture the song with controlled and punishing energetic rhythms. Raging and scowling throughout is vocalist Brian Behm who adds a vehemence and aggression all of his own to proceedings.
The EP flexes and twists the same way throughout as it starts with a merciless intensity and strong intelligent melodic invention. The balance between the two extremes the band offer is a spot on and each song is brought with deliberate thought and imagination. The likes of the intensive Crossing The Acheron, The Power And The Glory with excellent growling bass work from Cheney, and the mighty and seditious The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, all violate and enthral with equal depth.
The highly aggressive and intrusive Bleach The Flag is the highlight on the release though it is closely rivalled by The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. The track assaults the senses with a determined and defined intensity to empower the lyrics within their caustic abrasive delivery and occasional clean spoken asides. It finishes off a powerful and strong release perfectly, the band showing they can be as aggressive and equally creative as most of the other emerging bands in the genre.
The release suffers somewhat from the raw and uncomplimentary production but taken as a demo and with all the obvious positives within one still finds plenty to enthuse about and anticipate from the band in the future. If there was one other comment to offer it would be to suggest some diversity is needed within the vocals of Behm. Great though they are after a while they do grate a touch to distract from the sounds and fine lyrics he is offering up. It would not need much just a slight mixing up maybe and it is possibly worth noting the best song is the one he does do that even if it is only a little.
Void Of Kings is on the start of a journey with If Ever Hades Spoke the first marker, one that indicates they are a band that might grow into something quite special. We will certainly be keeping a close attention on them.