Void [LP]

by: Vanna

Void, the fifth studio album and first outing for Pure Noise from the grimey Boston-based punk-metal hybrid is as furious, punishing, and relentlessly hateful a collection of songs as one can ingest in one sitting. The band's journey from standard screamo act to full-on metalcore is complete, and fans holding onto the the rudder will probably need to jump ship, as Void is the product of an entirely new machine that cuts through bullshit like an icebreaker, leaving a freezing cold trench of breakdown-heavy, sonically challenging misery in its wake. Willfully unsubtle, the band's chief tonsil clearer Davey Muise lets it be known from the get-go that there will be no fun had aboard the SS Torment, as he explains his situation (“Holes, inside my broken bones/Decay, I watch my flesh rip away) on the brutal title track. Things don't get much better for the crew as the voyage continues, with stops at hateful ports like "Humaphobia," "Pornocopia," and "Holy Hell," the latter of which features a strong melodic chorus courtesy of chief clean crooner Joel Pastuszak. Void works best when it's at its most unhinged ("Yüth Decay, "All American’t," the aforementioned title track), treating its listeners like displaced rag dolls caught in the cruel hands of bullying older brothers, but there's a tad too much punitive, atonal verse riffing into soaring chorus nonsense to truly separate them from contemporaries like Killswitch Engage, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Norma Jean. Even so, each of the 11 songs, with the exception of the murky power ballad "Bienvenue," are delivered with enough good old-fashioned malevolence and technical acumen to make up for the occasional rote transgression. [Void was also released on LP.] ~ James Christopher Monger

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