The Call Of The Void

Century Media
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Summer Storm
02. The Wolf You Feed (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
03. Digital Bullets (feat. Chris Motionless)
04. Through the Noise (feat. Lzzy Hale)
05. Consume The Fire
06. Dead Inside (feat. David Draiman)
07. Victorious (feat. Dorothy)
08. Scorched
09. Momentum
10. The Golden Trail (feat. Anders Fridén)
11. Winner Takes All (feat. Alice Cooper)
12. Monster (feat. Lilith Czar)
13. Kintsugi
14. Surfacing (feat. Marty Friedman)

Nita Strauss has proven herself to be one of scene's most versatile guitarists. Whether she's shredding with shock rocker Alice Cooper, adding an edge to pop star Demi Lovato's tunes or heading up her own solo music, Strauss adds an originality and imagination to her guitar lines that makes her playing instantly recognizable.

"The Call of the Void", her sophomore solo album, is quite different from her debut record, "Controlled Chaos", a purely instrumental album. The new record features a bevy of guest vocalists, an example of Strauss not being afraid to try something new.

Not every song on "The Call of the Void" features vocals, though. The album begins with one of the set's strongest songs, "Summer Storm", an instrumental that highlights her powerful guitar voice. The song starts with some soft, thunderstorm-like noises before crescendoing into an epic, JUDAS PRIEST-style heavy metal rager. Here, Strauss shows off glistening soloing, cutting riffs and a range of emotions. Even without lyrics, this song tells a story — one of triumph and victory.

From there, "The Call of the Void" continues with three of the songs off the set that do feature vocals. "The Wolf You Feed" features powerful vocals — both screaming and clean singing — from ARCH ENEMY's Alissa White-Gluz. White-Gluz's dynamic vocals are the perfect complement to Strauss's flaming guitar playing, and this song is truly a metalhead's paradise.

"Digital Bullets" is next, featuring Chris Motionless of MOTIONLESS IN WHITE. Here, Strauss takes on that band's industrial metal style. Another epic collaboration follows, this one featuring Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM.

A few other highlights featuring vocalists on the set include the chart-topping rock single "Dead Inside", featuring DISTURBED's David Draiman, and "Victorious", featuring Dorothy. "Winner Takes All" is another stellar track, as it welcomes the rock legend Alice Cooper on lead vocals, lending his familiar, expressive heavy metal pipes to the set. IN FLAMES fans will relish "The Golden Trail" featuring vocalist Anders Fridén. The song brings a dash of melodic death metal to the album, with Strauss's furious guitar riffs and Fridén's harsh growling. These songs show her competence and fluidity, not just as a guitarist but as a songwriter writing and playing for the individual vocalist.

Aside from the songs with vocals, Strauss's instrumental songs truly do present something special. "Scorched" begins with some inner-city background noise and Strauss's distant, delicate guitar picking before hurling into a majestic guitar anthem that should make classic metal fans proud. "Momentum" is another shining instrumental track, this one fast-paced and thrashy, keeping the listener engaged from start to finish.

With all the modern rock collabs, "The Call of the Void" has a bevy of potential active rock radio hits, making this a set that could launch Strauss to the next level of rock stardom. Even so, the instrumentals are still where she shines brightest, as she is able to truly express emotion through her music. "The Call of the Void" leaves plenty of options open for her, as she could continue with making radio-friendly, modern rock numbers or play into her instrumental leanings. Either way, it will be exciting to see what Strauss does next.

Author: Anne Erickson
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