Boulder, Colorado, is known for its bottomless supply of noodly jam-bands, progressive bluegrassers, acoustic funkateers and a legion of loose-limbed music fans who'll twirl the night away to all the above.
But there's more to the town's music scene... right?
Not really, says Patrick Alberts, guitarist for Boulder-rooted metal band Call of the Void. "There was a sweet show once at a bar where it was us and Speedwolf and that was really cool," he says. "But that was probably one of the only metal shows to ever go down in Boulder."
Truth is, most of Call of the Void has moved to nearby Denver, but they still practice at Alberts' home in Boulder, and primordial versions of the band began taking shape there about a decade ago.
"We (started out) playing technical metal. We were really into Dillinger Escape Plan and throwing jazz into our music," Alberts says. "We would play shows and it was like, if we f---ed up one part, the whole band had to start over. We (didn't) want to do that. We just wanted to play easier music and more rocking music."
Mission accomplished. Call of the Void's second full-length, Ageless, is a 12-track barrage of guttural hardcore, punchy sludge and relentless grind. Paired with Steve Vanica's abrasive howl and harrowing lyrics, it's also one of the darkest and heaviest albums so far this year.
Still, light finds a way through the blackened cracks in Call of the Void's sound. The band's riffs are thunderous but murkily beautiful in places, and Vanica's vocals are versatile enough to act as a melodic element of the songs, rather than simply a shredded sheet of grey.
The word "melodic" can be polarizing in metal. Alberts considers it a compliment.
"The title track, that was pretty much me writing an Interpol/True Widow riff. I'm like, 'You know, that chord is super heavy. We could do something like that,'" he says. "We're not constrained by having to be brutal all the time. We just want to do whatever sounds really good and still remain heavy."
Call of the Void recorded Ageless nearly a year ago, but it's just now coming out because of their label Relapse Records' loaded release schedule over the past few months, Alberts says. So not only is the aggression that fuels the band's music pent up and ready to explode, these songs will feel almost fresh and new when Call of the Void hits the stage.
"By the time ... we start playing these things hundreds of times in front of people, it's a relief because, you know, you'd forgotten about it, and it's out and people dig it," Alberts says. "And you don't have to worry about it anymore."♦
Call of the Void with Enabler, the Drip, FAUS and Cold Blooded • Tue, Feb. 24, at 6:30 pm • $10/$13 day of • All-ages • The Hop! • 706 N. Monroe • thepinevents.com • 368-4077