Nita Strauss: The Call Of The Void – A Review5th July 2023
Spoilers….. This is a superb album from one of the most exciting guitarists around today. Oh and to be completely honest and open, I have skin in this game having been a supporter of Nita’s on Patreon for years, so I have known about this album for a long time as well as having sneak previews etc. If you like what Nita is doing, join us on Patreon, we’re a welcoming family of like minded people.
Anyway, none of you care about who I give my money too, you want to know about this album and whether you should buy it and go to one of Nita’s shows.
This is a banger. Best new album I’ve listened too in the last few years. So yes, you should buy it and yes, you should see her live as soon as you can.
9.5/10 AATR Approved……
Sorry folks, bear with me a second, the editor wants a word? Oh well this is embarrassing, the editor has told me that this isn’t enough work (does he know we don’t get paid for this?) and that I have to actually tell you something about the music itself and not just say it’s brilliant. (Trust me, don’t read my review, just go and listen to the album. Then listen to it again. And again. And again etc etc etc)
I know what you’re thinking, that this album is going to be 100% mind blowing shredding from start to end. Blistering chords, dive bombs every 5 seconds, string bends, stupidly fast shredding etc etc. If this is what you think, well my friend, you are so wrong.
What The Call of the Void does is showcase a musician who is just now beginning to realise their potential for creativity. The only way is up from here. Nita’s ability to construct shredding instrumental songs has been taken to the next level with this album. Each song has a narrative, a path through from start to finish, it isn’t just about playing as fast and as technical as you can. It is about creating an emotion within the song that moves, builds, rises and falls.
From the first single, Dead Inside featuring Disturbed’s David Draiman, it was clear that this album was going to be something different, something special. I just don’t think any of us knew how special.
Talking of Dead Inside, you have the immense Josh Villalta’s drums driving the song along underneath everything, with David snarling one second then soaring to the heights the next and throughout you have Nita accenting, playing the melody, shredding. It is a masterful example of the art of metal combining skilful musicianship into something more than the sum of its parts. No wonder this absolutely blew up when it was released just about a year ago.
Another of the absolute bangers on the album features the incredible Alice White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) on The Wolf You Feed. Based on the idea that you have two wolves inside you and you can choose which one you want to feed. This is a chunky song. The riff, the sound, it is big and epic. And having the insane talent of Alice White-Gluz adds a real dimensionality to the song which brings it alive. If you’ve never experienced Alice’s band, Arch Enemy, then I highly recommend catching them at some point.
Throughout the album, there are moments of subtlety, moments of joy that just kick the entire album up a notch or two. The perfect example of this is Kintsugi, the penultimate track. Boy was I not ready for this. It is beautiful. It is delicate. I had goosebumps up and down my arms, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery (often with gold or silver) it treats the breaking and repairing of the object as part of its history and not something to be ignored.
The way Nita gets this across in the song is ridiculous. There are moments of sadness and despair, but the overall song is positive. I can’t quite explain how it works. It’s one of those things you’ve just got to experience for yourself.
Summer Storm was another that I wasn’t quite expecting, with dirty hard riffs this track features ferocious drums from the aforementioned Josh Villalta. However, it is the guitar sounds throughout which lift it above a normal instrumental track. There is a breakdown that reminds me so much of the type of thing Dave Murray might play, which given Nita herself was Mega Murray in The Iron Maidens may not be too surprising. This is an absolutely cracking track that pretty much has it all, shredding, pinch harmonics, and ridiculously fast picking. An absolute belter.
I am a fan of Nita Strauss. I think she is one of the most competent and compelling guitar virtuosos around today. Anyone who has listened to Controlled Chaos knows that Nita is capable of producing eye-wateringly brilliant riffs and solos. However, with The Call of the Void, I feel Nita has taken a massive step forward in constructing songs that are not just examples of technical brilliance but that have heart, feeling, and emotion to them.
The addition of guests such as Anders Friden (In Flames), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), and the boss from her day job, Alice Cooper add depth to each song and variety to the overall album. It is so easy for these incredible guitarists to just produce a 12-15 track album of pure unadulterated shredding. However, Nita has gone way beyond that and is now producing work of such maturity that I don’t think anything could stop her even if they tried. Controlled Chaos is great, but The Call of the Void is brilliant.
There’s no stopping a Hurricane when it gets going. Certainly, not one called Hurricane Nita.
Thank you for producing such a beautiful and enjoyable album coach.
- Summer Storm
- The Wolf you Feed (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
- Digital Bullets (feat. Chris Motionless)
- Through the Noise (feat. Lzzy Hale)
- Consume The Fire
- Dead Inside (feat. David Draiman)
- Victorious (feat. Dorothy)
- The Golden Trail (feat. Ander Friden)
- Winner Takes All (feat. Alice Cooper)
- Monster (feat. Lilith Czar)
- Surfacing (feat. Marty Friedman)
Label – Sumerian Records
Release – 7th July