PSYCHOTIC WALTZ – The God-Shaped Void
February 26, 2020, a month ago
To say there was much hype surrounding this record would be an understatement. Psychotic Waltz hammered through an incredible four album run in the ‘90s until they disbanded in ’97. A reunion took place in 2010 and now here we have it, the long-awaited fifth album, The God-Shaped Void. The cover art is emblematic of the music within as it’s like a slow, methodical trip through space, just floating about until the final second. The God-Shaped Void holds philosophical musings and lectures wrapped in atmospheric, spacey vibes that in the end leaves an underwhelming feeling.
Singer Devon Graves sounds as good as ever his vocals provide a powerful stamp to accentuate the thundering music. Graves takes a trance like state in the bombastic opener “Devils And Angels” and the almost somber, mid-pace state is one they never seem to get out of. To expect a call back to the frenetic, tricky rhythms and interesting transitions from the first two albums could be seen as a rehash and Psychotic Waltz has earned respect for ultimately doing what they want, but sticking through an hour’s worth of similar songwriting is a slog.
With all that being said, the middle combo of “The Fallen” and “While The Spiders Spin” are amongst the strongest material the band has recorded. The former is an excellent acoustic led “Space Oddity” vibed track that is accentuated by a shimmering flute and the latter is acoustic led as well and is almost doom metal like in quality with thundering drums, riff notes and a superb and sterling vocal performance by Graves. “Demystified” provides another excellent performance with use of the flute as a musical backdrop and again Graves kills it vocally. Unfortunately, tracks like “Stranded”, “All The Bad Men”, and “Pull The String” just plod along and it leaves a wanting for something more exciting.
If The God-Shaped Void had a shorter run time than I would be more forgiving to the slow drain and methodical approach to the music, but as it stands this Psychotic Waltz leaves the psychotic part at the door and drifts into the stars.