Coma Void - Coma Void
Self Release
Atmospheric Black Metal
6 songs (48' 36")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

I grabbed Coma Void's post-black metal from Bandcamp completely at random, though after the awful review I'd given Lustre, named as one of their influences, I must say I had some qualms. I needn't have worried too much, though; their self-titled debut is not the world's best black metal record or anything, but as mostly-instrumental ambient black metal goes, it's not a bad album.

Just from the title and album cover (not to mention taglines on their page like "howlings from the intergalactic nothing"), one can tell this album is going to have a cosmic theme beloved of a number of ambient black metal bands. Accretion/Ejection is quiet, with keyboard and a dull electric hum in the back; partway through, more abrasive sounds, still sounding very synthetic, join in. Plasma Lobe Exile, on the other hand, is snappily fast-moving, almost a dance beat, with chugging guitar and a slow guitar lead sprinkled with light keyboard. The vocals are black metal screams, heavily processed and sounding like samples (couldn't tell if they were or not), but already there is much more variety on this track than some of their influences' whole albums, and certainly the musical atmosphere generated is appropriate. One should be warned, however: If one doesn't like long, repetitive ambient passages, this may still offend depending on one's patience level. The track lasts ten minutes, and while it doesn't induce the boredom in me that Lustre albums have done, I wasn't sorry to hear it end.

After a slower, more introspective track, Oblivion Waltz (one presumes the name is due to the song being done in 3/4 time) is slow too, but the cold keyboard synth melody that goes with the again-chugging guitar is worthy of note, and I liked that one. The drums kick in a little faster and harder partway through, giving the song more strength despite the speed not changing at all throughout. The lyrics, I should mention, including on this song, are not particularly great. They're pretty standard stream-of-consciousness black metal for the most part, but lines like "At least we have each other" brings me back to certain high school years where most of my wardrobe was colored black, which one usually prefers to forget. This is probably my favorite track on the album nonetheless. After an intro consisting of metallic (not the music, the element)-sounding noise, the final track, Heat Death Threnody ends the album with a halting beat that, in this case at least, captures the lyrics of final death and the ending of everything very well. Coma Void also varies the beat and riffs used much more in this one than elsewhere, giving more of the feeling of a song and less of the feeling of video game background music (an unfortunate side effect of a number of ambient projects).

I couldn't help but like Coma Void. It's an album that doesn't push the boundaries of ambient black metal much, but is listenable for the whole album without the listener giving up in disgust. And with a minimum payment of a buck for the entire album on Bandcamp, this is a cheap and enjoyable little album that is worth trying out.

Bandcamp: https://comavoid.bandcamp.com/album/coma-void.

Killing Songs :
Oblivion Waltz, Heat Death Threnody
Andy quoted 76 / 100
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