Village of Dead Roads - Desolation Will Destroy You
Release date: 2009
Dwelling in Doubt, the 2006 debut by Erie, Pennsylvania's Village of Dead Roads, was an impressive slab of hateful aggression. The only thing going against it were the tits-on-a-bull useless noise vignettes that were peppered throughout.
With sophomore release Desolation Will Destroy You, the four-piece avoids making the same mistake. Instead, they offer up a relentless bludgeoning of eight songs that capitalize on their Cavity by way of Cable by way of Isis attack. The band rarely plays it completely direct, opting to come at you from left of center. For instance, “Our Cold War” starts off with a menacing stumble before falling into a lockstep pummeling that in turn morphs into an outro that brings to mind the stronger parts of Celestial.
Speaking of which, I've been pretty hard on bands that fall into the “post-rock”/”post-metal” category lately, and while Village of Dead Roads obviously shares some of those same musical traits, they never sound derivative (except when they're repeating themselves, as on “Sickness and Separation,” which bears a passing resemblance to that last part of “Our Cold War”). “Halo Becomes a Noose” and “Weight of Loss” are two other examples of the band finding something new in a genre that I could've sworn was completely used up a year ago.
If there was a complaint to the album, it's that it lacks any songs as immediate as Dwelling in Doubt's “Professing to be Wise” and “Blind Albino.” But Desolation Will Destroy You ultimately proves itself to be a fine follow-up to an outstanding debut. Given that the band's now down to guitarist/vocalist Doug Corey and drummer Chris Williams, the future of Village of Dead Roads is questionable at best. So if this turns out to be their swan song, it's a fitting one. Recommended.
- John Pegoraro
I'm never gonna work another day in my life