After being seriously impressed by the second Whispered album Shogunate Macabre, we were expecting great things with their third album Metsutan – Songs Of The Void and of course, they didn’t let us down.
It’s impossible to pin Whispered down into a specific genre due to the unique nature of their music (the best way to perhaps describe them is melodic death metal with added Japanese folk elements for good measure) but that’s what makes this band so good and engaging – there aren’t any other bands like them and they really stand out from the crowd as a result, especially because their songs are so powerful and memorable. Epic doesn’t quite do them justice when it comes to describing them. With album three, it’s clear that the band now knows what works and what doesn’t, and the flow of Metsutan – Songs Of The Void is perfect, with every single element gliding effortlessly from one point to the next. It’s almost like it’s one continuous song, but with ten very defined sections – each song has its own unique identity and there’s plenty of variety to be found on the album as a whole.
A good introduction can make all the difference with an album, and 血ノ舞 – Chi No Odori is a stunning way to get the album underway, beautifully setting the scene with lush instrumentation and building up atmosphere before the first full track, Strike kicks in and really gets things moving. Strike has already been released by the band as a single and it’s clear why because the song is indeed striking (pun somewhat intended). There’s this fantastic urgency and punchiness to the song, showing that the band means business and really starts the album with a bang.
Whispered don’t slow down from there, and the third track is an easy highlight of the album. Exile Of The Floating World is somehow even more fast-paced than the previous track and the two repeating riffs that keep making appearances throughout the song are infectiously catchy, to the point that both lines will wind up rattling round your brain for days – an impressive feat, to say the least. Another highlight is the majestic 月明 – Tsukiakari, a track that takes its sweet time in creating ambience and atmosphere before progressing into a fuller sound where the band continues to add more and more to the piece until the vocals are added as the coup de grâce.
Metsutan – Songs Of The Void comes to an end with another mighty epic, a five-part piece entitled Bloodred Shores Of Enoshima, and it almost feels like words can’t quite do this incredible piece justice. The song just has everything – hard-hitting punchy sequences, stripped-back gentle moments, big choral parts and ambient spoken sections to name but four things, and it’s one of those songs that will send shivers down your spine on each listen.
All in all, Whispered have created another masterpiece with Metsutan – Songs Of The Void and indeed, there is nothing to fault with this album. As a reviewer who has given a previous release of theirs full marks, I was especially hesitant to rate this one similarly but honestly, giving this anything less than a full score would be an injustice. It’s clear that Whispered have mastered the art of crafting absolutely stunning music, and this album is more than testament to this.