Golden Void is the new face of Bay Area psychedelic music. It’s a rich tradition and like many of the tradition’s greats, Golden Void’s songs are firmly rooted in melody and not afraid of exploration. The band’s hooks get stuck in your head and their riffs transport you to the astral plane. Golden Void’s undeniable twist, setting them apart from their city’s lineage, is the influence of classic bands like Sabbath and Pentagram. The quartet, Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) on guitar and vocals, Camilla Saufley-Mitchell on keyboards and vocals, Aaron Morgan on bass and Justin Pinkerton on Drums, achieves a perfect balance of muscular riffs, soaring melodies, and hazy atmosphere on Berkana, their sophomore album. Recorded with Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), Berkana shows Golden Void expanding the scope of their sound without abandoning the heady groove they carved on their acclaimed self-titled debut.
Several members of Golden Void cut their musical teeth together during their middle school years and their natural ease and friendship is apparent throughout Berkana. Every member contributes to the writing process and to the arrangement of songs. Working with Tim Green at his isolated country studio, with all the instruments he has amassed, was integral to the expanded sound on this new record. While their debut album was mostly recorded live, Berkana was recorded with each member in isolation, allowing for more edits and overdubs. On songs like “Dervishing” and “Astral Plane,” there are layers upon layers of sound to dig into, with acoustic guitar, keyboards, and even flute being added to the band’s potent brew.
Tim Green picked up the baritone guitar and added some Arp as well. Isaiah Mitchell, one of the best rock guitarists working today, shows off his chops, but also his incredible restraint, throughout. In addition to the stretches of outright shredding, such as on opener “Burbank’s Dream,” or the climax of “The Beacon”, there are moments such as the breakdown on “I’ve Been Down,” in which Mitchell employs subtle melodic flourishes that slowly build in intensity.
Dommengang’s music is expansive and driving. The band’s songs are propelled by Brian Markham, Adam Bulgasem and Sig Wilson. While the trio’s affection for electric blues and proto-punk bombast is clear, their music abandons traditional song structures and replaces their recognizable tropes with progressive frameworks.
Their second full length LP “Love Jail” was released in January 2018.