Evoken - A Caress of the Void
I Hate Records
Funeral Doomdeath
7 songs (71'41")
Release year: 2007
Evoken, I Hate Records
Reviewed by Adam
Album of the month
The task of maintaining a fresh approach has got to be harder on a funeral doom band than any other, due to the narrow constraints of the genre. Frequently, bands that choose to play this style have a dud in their catalog. However, that is by no means universal. Evoken, for instance, have managed to outdo themselves on each of their first three releases, culminating with their most recent, 2005’s dark masterpiece, Antithesis of Light. Luckily, the wait was cut in half so fans would not have to endure another four year break, as was the case between Quietus and Antithesis of Light. After signing on with I Hate Records, the band got right to it with A Caress of the Void. The main question on my mind was this: Could Evoken actually manage to improve on their sound once again? At first listen, the answer is no, but that doesn’t keep it from being yet another brilliant album from the guys.

To me, the most fascinating aspect of Antithesis of Light is the atmosphere, created more by what isn’t there than anything else. Ambient effects played a huge role in the terrorizing feel, with keyboards and even string instruments giving an assist. On A Caress of the Void, a more basic approach is often used, but the results are just as dark and eerie. The great thing about Evoken is that they know what their strengths are, and they are not afraid to focus on them. The opening title track uses a piercing plucked guitar that sounds truly evil, before diving into thick and heavy riffing. It is immediately apparent that working with a new label has not harmed the lush sound of this band one iota. Another key is the amazing drumming of Vince Verkay, who does nothing but further my notion that he is one of the finest doom has to offer. All of his fills are immaculately placed. It seems like he just knows exactly when to slowly keep the pace, and when to let it rip. Hearing this album, it is almost as if the band felt like they were adding too many wrinkles into their sound and decided to center A Caress of the Void around Verkay’s superb drums, kickass riffing, and John Paradiso’s lowly growl. Of course, the album is not completely devoid of curveballs. For one, John’s vocals range from his standard grunt to spoken, clean, and even black metal styled vocals. Another bit of a twist comes in the form of the instrumental track Mare Erythraeum, which utilizes a guitar solo. That might not sound like it would work very well in a funeral doom setting, but it does, surprisingly well I might add. The remainder of the album sounds much like you would expect from Evoken. To me, that is not a detriment. Of Purest Absolution has a main riff that cuts right through you, played in varying octaves to keep your interest. Astray in Eternal Night and Suffer a Martyr’s Trial (Procession at Dusk) are the other highlights, with the latter being a slowly building track that has the feeling of being slowly surrounded and enveloped by a dark, suffocating cloud. One thing is for sure, if you liked their previous works, this album is a "can't miss" affair.

A Caress of the Void is a beautifully consistent and worthwhile addition to the Evoken discography. While I wouldn’t say that it is better than its predecessors, it is certainly on par, and that is fine by me. Evoken should continue to set the bar for the funeral doom genre for years to come, and with a few more strong efforts like this, they may be unquestioned as its greatest ever.
Killing Songs :
Of Purest Absolution, Astray in Eternal Night, Suffer a Martyr's Trial (Procession at Dusk)
Adam quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Evoken that we have reviewed:
Evoken - Hypnagogia reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Evoken - Quietus reviewed by Milan and quoted 91 / 100
Evoken - Embrace the Emptiness reviewed by Adam and quoted 85 / 100
Evoken - Antithesis of Light reviewed by Adam and quoted 91 / 100
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