April 11th, 2024

Music Spot: Voidpiercer - The Isolation Years

Music Spot: Voidpiercer - The Isolation Years

From time to time, we shine the spotlight on a SoundGym member by reviewing one of their releases for our Music Spot feature. This time around we are taking an in-depth look at Dave Misko’s latest album as Voidpiercer, The Isolation Years.

Misko is an “unapologetic in-the-box basement producer” based in Nashville, Tennessee. As Voidpiercer he fuses 2000s post-hardcore and metal influences with an occasional nod to his love of 80s electronic pop – on his Soundcloud he has covered songs by Talk Talk, New Order and Depeche Mode. 

The Isolation Years centers around themes of love, loss, and endurance – all classic post-hardcore subjects. There is an authenticity at play here, however, that stops this record from veering into cliché. The engagement with the subject matter of the songs feels heartfelt and sincere.

 

This is a world where catharsis reigns supreme; from the anguished cries of a broken heart to the defiant roars of resilience, the underlying message is that music like this can help us to work through so much of what life throws at us. Each song unfolds as a deeply personal narrative, with lyrics that cut straight to the core of human experience.

The album hits the ground running with ‘Fighting The Tide’, which opens with clean-scream vocals, thunderous drums and driving guitars. The drums and vocals are mixed high, giving the track a feeling of looming immensity.

The lyrics showcase the themes of the album; our protagonist is at turns ‘fighting the tide’ and ‘drowning inside’ but also ‘indestructible right now’. This internal narrative of fervent perseverance unfolds akin to a duet, with two conflicting facets of one psyche engaged in a ferocious struggle for dominance. 

Midway through the opening track, intriguing tendrils of synth start to emerge around the edges of the production, slowly making their way into the foreground by the outro. This is the first taste we get of the ‘80s synth pop influence that is a nice point of contrast in Voidpiercer’s music, setting it apart from the more conventional offerings in this genre.

We hear that influence come much further to the fore on ‘Hyperion 1987’, which opens with arpeggiated synths and a searing synth lead. The song is an epic seven minute opus during which the synthesisers frequently re-emerge. 

There are other places on this album where Misko stretches out and shows his range, a great example of this being the ballad, ‘Zephyr (Softly)’. The emotional honesty of post-hardcore is perhaps the reason that bands versed in this style of music are often surprisingly adept at penning effective ballads; think ‘Blue and Yellow’ by The Used or ‘Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)’ by Anberlin. ‘Zephyr (Softly)’ is built around a rich, reverberant piano sound and although this is eventually joined by Voidpiercer’s trademark pounding drums, Misko is brave enough to hold off on the guitars completely; a decision that pays off handsomely as the track adds some real depth and variety to the album. 

The Isolation Years offers a compelling fusion of post-hardcore intensity and heartfelt sincerity. The backbone of the album is its thunderous instrumentation,  and yet, as the poignant balladry of "Zephyr (Softly)" demonstrates, Misko possesses an emotional depth and melodic touch that frequently transcends genre boundaries.

This record stands as a testament to the transformative power of music, reminding us that amidst life's trials, there's solace to be found in honest expression and brutal honesty. 

If you want to hear more of the Voidpiercer project, the best place to do so is on SoundCloud. You can also follow over on Instagram and listen on Spotify.


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Zander Norko
Apr 14
👌
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Thank you much, Yohai!
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Yohai Zilber
Apr 14
Great music! 👏

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