Rating:
2.5
Beyond Black Void - Desolate
1 January 2003


01. Desolate
02. Storm Over Jupiter
03. EverVoid


Stijn Van Cauter, notorious for his many, many extremely slow Funeral Doom/Drone projects, has crafted himself a new vehicle for his agonizing depression (read: boredom). Not all of his projects are a success though, and quantity should never be favoured above quality. Beyond Black Void, with sole release "Desolate" under its belt, brings tears to my eyes and makes me wonder what the hell got into me that convinced me to abandon Robbie Williams as favourite artist.

"Desolate" basically consists of two types of instrumentation: a high, slow lead guitar and deep, ridiculously low-tuned drone guitar. For the first few minutes of the album, the lead guitar plays a single note every ten seconds. If its monotone, piercing sound is not enough to drive you crazy, its maddening repetition will. Salvation comes in the shape of ultra-low distortion, but when it turns out that this type of guitars also offers no variation at all, only the same continous droning, echoing rumble, a mental breakdown comes frighteningly close. But, you desperately think, it can't possibly be like this for the entire seventy minutes of the album?! Meet Stijn Van Cauter, and let me guarantee you: he can. And he will. Because he can.

What bothers me about the album is not the extremely minimalistic approach to music, but the complete lack of soul or emotion. There is no chemistry, no suffocating atmosphere, no wailing misanthropy. It never manages to lift itself above the 'high school kiddie trying to make the slowest music ever' image that nestled in my mind from the very first few notes played. It is just boring! The mysterious factor "atmosphere", that separates dark art from pure shit, is completely missing. And trust me: when you have heard this, you'll know that there exists no worse music than minimalistic music that is supposed to bring you into trance – but doesn't.

Everybody that has managed to sit through the entire album at least once, deserves a medal for courage and survival under extreme circumstances. God knows the pain I went through listening to this album a few times, enabling myself to write this review and warn you all for this drone disaster. Somebody, I beg you, rid me of this pathetic excuse for art. I'll wrap it up in a nice pink ribbon and I'll give you 25 euro's in cash if you pick it at my house. Just don't disturb me in my rehabilitation sessions with Robbie Williams' "Escapology".

Performance: 3
Songwriting: 2
Originality: 3
Production: 3


Website: http://svc.nulll-void.com/


 



Written on 14.07.2008 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
More reviews by Lucas ››



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Marcel Hubregtse - 14.07.2008 at 14:04  
Totally and utterly disagree with this review.
The minimalism works extremely well in here. And one note from this album has more sadness and talent in it than all of Robbie Williams' work combined.
Lucas - 14.07.2008 at 15:53  
Let's agree to disagree then. For me this is worlds, nay, galaxies apart from the brilliance that is, say, Hjarnidaudi (who use similar slow riffs that dissolve once struck).
Southern Wind - 15.07.2008 at 05:09  
This album is outstanding, simply as that. On the other hand, minimalist music like this isn't meant to be "emotional"... this album simply represents desolate, cold soundscapes and it achieves that sensation with mastery. This is actually my favourite Stijn project, and I REALLY admire this musician.
BestMetalstormer - 15.07.2008 at 12:36  
I can enjoy it but its tracks are fucking so long.
Lucas - 15.07.2008 at 13:49  
Geez, I didn't expect this. Are you all wasting your time with this crap?
Fhuesc - 16.07.2008 at 00:44  
Sound boring as hell, that's why postmodernism it's a crap.
K†ulu - 16.07.2008 at 09:50  
I'm ten minutes into this album... let's see how much more I can bear...
Syk - 16.07.2008 at 16:41  
Written by Lucas on 15.07.2008 at 13:49
Geez, I didn't expect this. Are you all wasting your time with this crap?
One of my music teachers used to tell us "out of all the music in the world, 5% is bad, 5% is good and 90% is average - you should only listen to the good and the bad." Such a low rating coming from a staffer means this was bound to happen...
then again, maybe some people just want to listen to something boring... even Six Feet Under has "fans"
Southern Wind - 16.07.2008 at 18:54  
Anyway, the one thing that truly bothers me about this review is that you name almost one by one the characteristics of drone as arguments to tell this album is bad... it would be easy for me to say "if you don't like drone then don't review drone albums", but I know it's not the case and you enjoy bands like Earth. When drone has been meant to has multiple layers of instrumentation? If you don't like monotone music then what's the deal about listening to drone? Do you really think drone has to turn you crazy to be good? On the other hand, the only drone band that I can think about now as "emotional" (as I don't consider Khanate to be drone at all) is Burial Chamber Trio and they failed pathetically, same with Stallaggh if you're open enough to consider their last album drone.

Anyway, if you hated this so much I truly recommend you to stay as far as you can from Fall Of The Grey-Winged One, another band that I consider amazing, by the way.
Lucas - 16.07.2008 at 19:10  
Written by Southern Wind on 16.07.2008 at 18:54

Anyway, the one thing that truly bothers me about this review is that you name almost one by one the characteristics of drone as arguments to tell this album is bad... it would be easy for me to say "if you don't like drone then don't review drone albums", but I know it's not the case and you enjoy bands like Earth. When drone has been meant to has multiple layers of instrumentation? If you don't like monotone music then what's the deal about listening to drone?


Yes, I like Drone, and there are a few Drone bands that are amongst my top favourite. But that does not mean that I like all Drone bands, simply because they are Drone. And I do like monotone music.


Quote:
Do you really think drone has to turn you crazy to be good? On the other hand, the only drone band that I can think about now as "emotional" (as I don't consider Khanate to be drone at all) is Burial Chamber Trio and they failed pathetically, same with Stallaggh if you're open enough to consider their last album drone.


Burial Chamber Trio indeed failed. A shame, really. I never said that Drone needs to be crazy to be good, no idea where you got that from. Drone carries a lot of emotion for me, as it's goal is usually to suffocate/drown/envelop/whatever the listener. While suffocation is not an emotion, the misanthropy or despair or whatever it gives you is emotion.

Quote:
Anyway, if you hated this so much I truly recommend you to stay as far as you can from Fall Of The Grey-Winged One, another band that I consider amazing, by the way.


I think I will check this out, as their is nothing wrong with the concept of BBV. It is just how he translated it to music that bothers me.

As I stated in my review, not for a single second this album manages to rise above the 3 bpm + feedback, and become an experience. I am sure you know what I mean, even though you may disagree. And because it is not able to accomplish that - the main and sole goal of Drone - this band utterly fails. In my opinion of course.

But of course Drone, as with Doom and some Black metal, is highly personal music, very much moreso than, say, Dance. While the former is usually experienced in solitude, Dance is as much about the crowd going wild together as about the music. Not really sure why I am pointing this out, as I'm sure you will have already drawn that conclusion a long time ago, haha. But still, Drone is very personal, and therefore opinions will/can vary a lot.

And for that same reason, I would really like it if you, or any other disagree-er, would write a favourable review, opposed to mine. To inform the readers and curious. (Even though I think they know more than enough already, haha).
the stranger - 21.07.2008 at 05:57  
The thing with Doom(considering all its sub-sub-genres and mixes) is that either you feel something when you hear it or you don't. It doesn't matter how good or innovative the band is, you don't feel anything, you won't consider it good. By the way, I find Drone pretty boring and sometimes even overrated, but it all comes down to what I said in the first sentence.
albatros - 21.07.2008 at 14:23  
You sparked my curiosity with this review. After 8 minutes or so I lost patience, but I got the impression I'd like to listen to this while riding a bicycle cross country in bad weather.
ArcesseEum - 22.07.2008 at 23:03  
Havent heard it, but i'm glad to see a rating like 2.5 for something that is pure shit... not 6.
Lucas - 22.07.2008 at 23:11  
Written by ArcesseEum on 22.07.2008 at 23:03

Havent heard it, but i'm glad to see a rating like 2.5 for something that is pure shit... not 6.


Well, apparentely I'm one of the few that thinks so, so you still might want to give it a try.
K†ulu - 28.07.2008 at 18:11  
I am not into Drone or whatever this CD is, but this album (or music of such a type) could be a suitable listen for example when going to bed... seriously. It really isn't irritating, neither is it impressive.
Valentin B - 04.09.2008 at 20:58  
heh, this is probably the lowest rating a serious review(not counting Blind Guardian's Nightfall) i've seen give around here.
Doc Godin - 23.09.2008 at 21:15  
Well Lucas, its easy to say we're on opposite ends of the metal stick, but your reviews generally make sense to me. I found some samples on the internet (because I saw the rating and thought to myself "I have to hear this"). Well I would say I agree with the things stated in review but since this is far from my genre it would be impossible for me to argue otherwise. Though the last paragraph of your review got a few chuckles out of me.
Azhidahak - 13.12.2009 at 05:18  
OMG!!!! Is this for real?? I cant believe what Im reading, :

I mean, I do understand if someone doesnt like this typ of music, its not anyone's cup of tea, but for us people who enjoy Funeral Doom this album is absolutely brilliant and if it bores you to death it is probably because you dont like this type of music in general.

I would probably rate this album somewhere between 8,5-8,8 (and Im very harsh on giving away high ratings). But anything lower than 8 for this album is a joke IMO, no offense though.
Lucas - 13.12.2009 at 13:32  
Written by Azhidahak on 13.12.2009 at 05:18

OMG!!!! Is this for real?? I cant believe what Im reading, :

I mean, I do understand if someone doesnt like this typ of music, its not anyone's cup of tea, but for us people who enjoy Funeral Doom this album is absolutely brilliant and if it bores you to death it is probably because you dont like this type of music in general.

I would probably rate this album somewhere between 8,5-8,8 (and Im very harsh on giving away high ratings). But anything lower than 8 for this album is a joke IMO, no offense though.


I do love Funeral Doom and Drone, and enjoy a fair bit of Noise as well. That does not mean that I will worship anything in these styles.

Read the posts above yours. I got a lot of flac for this review, haha. I have re-visited this album a couple of times since but I always came to the same conclusion: extreme? yes. emotion? no.

"Desolate" represents soulless 'artistic' wankery in it's purest form.
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.12.2009 at 15:35  
Written by Lucas on 13.12.2009 at 13:32

.

"Desolate" represents soulless 'artistic' wankery in it's purest form.


NO, that would be Kalysia - Cybion
Lucas - 13.12.2009 at 18:22  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.12.2009 at 15:35

Written by Lucas on 13.12.2009 at 13:32

.

"Desolate" represents soulless 'artistic' wankery in it's purest form.


NO, that would be Kalysia - Cybion


hehe, havent heard so no comment. imight try desolate again tonight, havent heard incredibly bad music in a while.
Mr. Doctor - 13.12.2009 at 18:25  
Written by Lucas on 13.12.2009 at 18:22

havent heard incredibly bad music in a while.


It wasn't incredibly bad,... But I agree with you in some points. I think this stuff is way too overrated and amazes me that Marcel think it's very good.

I've heard the whole thing and I just deleted it, a very "meh" album imo.

If I want minimalistic stuff like this.... I just take some good Hlidolf

But yeah... I really hate Robbie Williams.
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.12.2009 at 18:27  
Written by Lucas on 13.12.2009 at 18:22

... havent heard incredibly bad music in a while.


Yes you have, you probably listened to Coldplay recently

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