Bay area stoner supergroup Golden Void materialized from Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell's blazingly psychedelic riffs, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound's Camilla Saufly-Mitchell's looming organ playing, and the heavy-as-hammers rhythm section of Aaron Morgan and Justin Pinkerton, who had been playing together in various bands since high school days. The languid haze and drifty jamminess generally associated with stoner rock is absent on Golden Void's self-titled debut album. Instead of listless improvisation, the seven songs here are an amalgam of hard-living biker rock, organ-driven FM radio-styled classic rock throwbacks, and darkly mystical lyrical imagery. Recorded mostly live in the studio to tape and mastered in an analog-heavy process, the feel of the album harkens back to the '70s production of early hard rock and metal, which suits the songs. Beginning with the amped-up "Art of Invading," Golden Void charge out of the gates with fantastical images of a medieval holy war underpinned by Mitchell's heavily delayed vocals and Saufly-Mitchell's doomy organ tones driving the song to its guitar soloing climax. "The Curve" speeds up a boogie rock shuffle as a backdrop to a variety of solos just as "Jetsun Dolma" slows the pace in a dark, Doors-like groove to display a few different wah-wah tones and ruminative guitar leads. Guitar solos run rampant throughout the record, and clearly Mitchell is no newcomer to shredding. Rather than wanky blues scale riffing, the solos that flow like caustic rivers throughout the album sound considered and even composed. There's a definite economy to the songs' composition. Never condemning the listener to an unnecessary side-long jam or a bevy of wandering extrapolations, the songs are concise and metered, with only the album-closing mini-epic "Atlantis" passing the six-minute mark. The classic rock vibes of the album are heavy, and while Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and even some Steppenwolf moments come immediately to mind, the lineage of stoner rock is long and tireless. Traces of influence from latter-day stoners like Monster Magnet and early Soundgarden also make up Golden Void's heaviness. The incense smoke and blacklight posters might be a little too heavy-handed for some listeners, but the more experienced stoner rock connoisseurs will recognize that Golden Void is singing it like they're living it.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas