Friday, September 21, 2018
Conan - Existential Void Guardian (2018)
I mean it's kind of a no brainer that we would review this. I think once I heard the singles, I knew "Existential Void Guardian" was going to be one hell of an album. As far as newer fans or people who are unfamiliar with Conan go, I would say "Existential Void Guardian" is more accessible in terms of reaching a wider metal audience. Not saying that Conan suddenly gained pop sensibilities, and have "sold out". The same old Conan is here again, playing the barbaric Hyborian Age Sludge Doom we have come to know them for. What I am trying to say is that the songs seem to chug along with a noticeable uptempo beat throughout without being overtly droney, and while there is plenty of fuzz to go around on this one, there is also more clarity between the strings, and the bass comes through now deeper and heavier than I remember on previous releases. Both of which are tuned super fucking low as always which I like a lot.
Then on the other hand the band seems to explore other musical possibilities on this one as well. I know on "Revengeance" they experimented black metal-esque blasts however with "Paincantation" the band goes full on Grindcore. I know I can't be the only one right now who is wishing for Conan to do an all Grindcore album after listening to that. It looks like Conan switched drummers again on this one, and with new drummer Johnny King, the drumming on this one seems as versatile as ever. The band never lost their groove though, remaining mighty and heavy as ever, and it's apparent on "Existential Void Guardian" Conan is still a force to reckoned with in the overall Doom Metal scene. I can see why this album was highly anticipated. Overall, I really dug it, and if you're reading this I'm assuming you already heard it and dug it too. If not then you should probably listen to it immediately. Cheers! -Samir