If you go
What: Call of the Void
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Bar Bar, 260 Champa St., Denver
More info: Call of the Void on Facebook
The old cliche that the more things change, the more they stay the same, holds true nicely for Call of the Void.
The metal-ish hardcore Boulder band long ago changed its name from Iron Horse. The last time we checked in with Call of the Void, guitarist Patrick Alberts told us that his drummer got kicked off stack for spraying beer around during a Big Freedia (New Orleans Bounce Queen) show at South By Southwest 2013. He also explained that the band “creates music that mimics that emotional reaction when you’re upset at what’s going on” and that the last record was an accidental “diatribe against organized religion.”
No, the band hasn’t adopted Freedia’s twerking or ass-centric lyrics. That detail is a friendly reminder that hardcore and metal bands aren’t humorless. But things have changed some in the past year.
Gabe Morales came on as the band’s second guitarist, bringing Call of the Void to a loud-as-hell five piece that also includes Gordon Koch on drums, and Alex Pace on bass and Steve Vanica on vocal duty. They’d all been playing with Gabe for so long, so they asked him to join.
“It was pretty much the easiest introduction to the band ever,” Alberts said. “He knows our style, we know his style. I think it really paid off with the songs that we wrote together. There’s more harmonies going on with the music, there’s a little bit more dynamics in the music … We actually have guitar leads now.”
The band just wrapped recording its sophomore album, the follow-up to the well-received Dragged Down A Dead End Path, on Tuesday. The results, which they expect to release in the early fall with the title Ageless, sound promising.
“We’re still working in that same vein,” Alberts said. “I can say the hardcore part has got more hardcore, and the sludgy part got more sludgy, and the faster parts got more technical. It still sounds like Call of the Void, though, which I like.”
As for the old anti-religion theme — it went out the window. There are still references to religion, but no attacks this time.
“I think the genre tends to gravitate toward that, so we wanted to step away from that theme and separate ourselves from that,” Alberts said.
This time around, he said, the focus is more personal. Some of the songs focus on “a more disappointing thing about yourself that you try to get out and be a little poetic about.” Even when confronting a larger social problem, they’re doing it in what Alberts called the traditional punk style.
“You have social commentary,” he said. “So we would try to think of a subject, say the bog people from Ireland, the ones who were thrown in the swamps and they’re still there today. What’s the way we can tie that into something a little more current?”
Contrary to common perceptions, the music isn’t all doom and gloom. Alberts said that even when he wrote a song about getting older, “how pretty much every minor thing with my body is an omen for death,” he tries to be funny or sarcastic.
It’s a satisfying mix when you dig into the music. Ageless is still a season away, so check out Call of the Void this weekend at Denver’s diviest of dives, Bar Bar, where the band plays on Friday.
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: @AshaleyJill.