Album of the Day: Petrification, “Hollow of the Void”

Petrification hover on the edge between death and doom on their debut album, Hollow of the Void, working in a style made popular by metal heavies like Autopsy and Convulse. This is death metal at its most methodical, designed for continuous, measured headbanging. Jason Barnett’s throaty barks function as another rhythmic device, at times approaching the urgency of a ranting heretical priest, especially on mid-album rippers “Hollow of the Void” and “Hymn of Charon.” The rest of the band (WarVest and David Pruitt on guitars, Mario Thunder on drums, and Nukes on bass) are more than a match for that dark energy, and they excel at ratcheting up pre-breakdown tension before dragging the listener into the thresher of a circle pit. (Check out the top-of-the-rollercoaster moment at 1:36 in “Summon Horrendous Destruction.”)

Metal is often characterized as an escapist genre, and it’s in music like this that the notion truly resonates. There’s something deeply comforting about Hollow, like a gory horror movie you’ve memorized after watching the VHS over and over. You embrace the fright on your own terms. Petrification shine by making their own terror from classic sounds.

-Ed Blair

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