Voideater has been carving out its territory in Denver’s fertile heavy scene since 2015, but only recently has the band’s aesthetic really begun to come into focus.
For the first couple years, members came and went, creating a bit of a revolving door around guitarist and vocalist Neil Hernandez.
Then the band changed its name from Black Sea Voyage (not bad) to Voideater (very cool).
And somewhere along the way, Hernandez expanded the band from a two-piece to a trio with the addition of David Saylor on drums and Arthur Kitching on bass.
Which is good, because the songs on Voideater’s new EP Alchemy of Man are heavy. Not heavy like two-man-attack heavy. We’re talking deep, dark, psychedelic sludge doom, the kind with an army of serrated guitars and drumbeats that thunder and bass lines that’ll dig a trench in your chest.
At four tracks that run more than 22 minutes long, Alchemy of Man is almost an album...but not quite. Whatever it lacks in length, however, it makes up for with density of doom and clarity of vision. It’s those two qualities that make Voideater an exciting up-and-coming presence in Denver.
Before its June 2 date at Mutiny Information Cafe, Westword caught up with the band to find out more about where it's coming from and where it's headed.
Westword: Sonically speaking, what is Voideater trying to do?
Voideater: Voideater is all about being outside the box. The sound of Voideater is intended to be one of the heaviest things you'll hear without sounding like your typical doom band. We want to provide listeners with a variety. Not one song is going to sound just like another.
On Facebook, you mentioned "revamping this project." Can you elaborate on that?
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When our former drummer left, it gave Neil an opportunity to create more depth to the music by adding in a bassist in addition to a drummer. David brings a heavy foundation, and Arthur unifies the songs.
Your vocals are harsh. They almost remind me more of hardcore punk than typical doom vocals. Is punk in your lineage?
Punk isn’t the foundation of this project, but the vocals are intended to sound aggressive to the listener. The vocals definitely don’t follow the typical doom sound, but that’s what makes Voideater distinctive.
Where do Voideater’s lyrics come from?
The songs were written as I began to experience anxiety for the first time. This triggered a lot of angst and made me see the world in a different way.
What bands do you believe have influenced Voideater's sound?
Torche and Baroness have been huge influences of Voideater, as well as Bludded Head, Converge, High on Fire, and Justin Greaves.
The cover art for Alchemy of Man is great. Who did it?
Abigail Davis of ORYX did our cover art. She is an amazing artist as well as an incredible drummer. Another theme of Voideater is geometric shapes. We discussed the art with shapes and something that describes us. From that, our album art was created.
What’s up with all the space imagery on your social media?
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Space has consistently been the theme of the band. When you think "void," you imagine dark and deep. This is reflected in the tones you’ll hear from Voideater. Astrophysics is an effort toward understanding what we are and why we’re here. It’s there to be discovered, to enlighten, and to destroy us.
Beyond the June 2 show at Mutiny, what else is on the horizon for you guys?
We’re very excited to be on the bill for Trve Brewing's sixth-anniversary show on June 23 at the hi-dive. We also will be playing another show there on July 1, and we're set to finish our album in the fall.
Voideater, with Drune and Matriarch, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2, Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway, Denver, 303-778-7579, $5 donation.