Album: Through The Void
Release Date: April, 2017
Label: Self Released
Review by John
It’s not very often these days that a new release genuinely makes my jaw drop. Which makes it especially satisfying when something does.
Suffice to say , ‘Through The Void’ is truly jaw dropping stuff.
From the morbid opening of ‘Crushed By The Tide’ right through to the emotionally charged closing moments of ‘A Distant Shore’, Garganjua take you on a 40 odd minute journey to the very heart of your soul. And what is most remarkable is that they do it over just four tracks.
The introduction to ‘Crushed By The Tide’ slowly builds into a crunching, doomy track that is bristling with pure energy and perfectly proves once again that you don’t have to be fast to be heavy. But over the course of its 12 minutes it evolves into a slower, more melodic track with the earlier snarling vocals replaced by soothing harmony. It’s an ambitious change of pace, but the varying styles blend perfectly into one another so that it is impossible to see the join. Even at this early juncture, it is clear to the listener that you are experiencing something special indeed. As it erupts back into fury for the coda, you are left with a huge sense of anticipation for what is to follow.
What follows is a masterclass in musical perfection.
‘Adrift’ (the only track here that clocks in at under 10 minutes long at a mere 9:22) expands on the emotional sections found on the opening track, opting for the softer sound whilst remarkably still remaining crushingly heavy. Stirring genuine emotion in the listener, it leaves you wondering where the band can possibly go from here.
Where they go is to the crushing title track ‘Through The Void’. Building things up nicely via the extended intro and initially once again employing the mellower vocal style, Garganjua seem to have an uncanny knack of knowing exactly when to shift up the gears into brain meltingly heavy, before easing gently back down again. While ‘Crushed By The Tide’ seemed to have found the perfect balance of styles, it turns out it was just an incredibly tasty musical hors d’oeuvre before the main course. The band employ every soaring weapon in their arsenal over the 12 minutes of the title track, and, when listened to alongside their previous releases (the ‘Trip Wizard’ EP and debut album ‘A Voyage In Solitude’, both impressive pieces in their own right) it becomes clear just how far the band have progressed in the last few years.
As ‘Through The Void’ fades into closer ‘A Distant Shore’ we are already half an hour in, and the run time so far has just flown by. Long the songs may be but not a single second is wasted, and each one more than justifies its length. And the same applies to ‘A Distant Shore’. With an atmospheric, melodic opening that once again stirs the listener emotionally. The title track may well be the strongest track here, but ‘A Distant Shore’ is the albums emotional tour de force. A pure lesson in deep, emotive songwriting, it ensures that the album finishes on a real high note. If the last few minutes don’t move you to your very soul then you may well be dead already.
At no point over the length of the album do Garganjua let the quality slip. It’s a record that you will want to listen to again as soon as it finishes. Immaculately polished by the ever reliable Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios, this is an album that needs to be in every collection.
With a pledge campaign running until 31st January, there’s still time to bag yourself a copy on CD or vinyl (and I feel that vinyl may well be the natural home for this) and a link to the pledge page is provided below.
It may be early days, but we already have one of the essential releases of 2018.Utterly sublime.
1. Crushed By The Tide
3. Through The Void
4. A Distant Shore
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Garganjua
Pledge for the album here: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/garganjuavinylpledge