Nita Strauss – The Call of the Void (Album Review)

A highly accomplished guitarist, Nita Strauss’ talents were given more mainstream recognition when she enlisted as part of Alice Cooper’s live band back in 2014. Earning the attention that she deserves; Strauss is now recognized as a leading female guitarist in the world of Rock and Metal.

A fantastic accomplishment, and helping pave the way for other female musicians in music, in truth, if you look at it another way, it is a disservice to use the language ‘female guitarist.’ Why? Because Strauss is a fantastic ‘guitarist’… and that is regardless of gender. Anyway, she has kept pretty busy over the last ten years on tour with Cooper and releasing her debut solo album Controlled Chaos back in 2019. A stellar solo record, it was wholly instrumental, which is cool, but now Strauss dishes out the follow up in 2023 which features vocals.

Entitled The Call of the Void, and released July 7th through Sumerian Records, the new album does not feature Strauss on vocals, but a lengthy list of guests that you are going to want to hear. Think Apocalyptica prior to their 2015 album Shadowmaker which featured Franky Perez solely on vocals… or think Santana’s massive 1999 album Supernatural which also featured a cast of all-star vocalists. This idea in mind, Strauss enlists a killer list of singers that includes Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, David Drainman of Disturbed, Dorothy Martin of Dorothy, Chris Motionless of Motionless in White, Juliet Simms of Lilith Czar, Alisa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, Anders Fridén of In Flames, and Alice Cooper. Interested yet? You should be, because it these are more than just big names… each feature is spot on and the songs sound great.

Now, in many ways it is a challenge to create an album with multiple vocalists; because the songs might sound good individually, but lack cohesion as a whole. Fortunately, The Call of the Void does not have this issue, because each song does sound good individually, plus there are no mood kills as the album plays on. That is certainly a testament to the songwriting of Strauss, who knows when to unleash solos at the write time, but also pull back and let the music breathe at other times.

Thematically the album also follows similar ideas which promote independence, free-thinking, and strength to rise above the static surrounding you to become the best version of yourself. This is evident with tracks like “Digital Bullets,” “Through the Noise,” and “Victorious.” Furthermore, there are perfectly placed straight ahead instrumental pieces throughout the record which are not intrusive, but moments of fantastical solos, riffs, and intense energy. This is offered with cuts like “Consume the Fire,” “Scorched,” “Momentum,” but also “Surfacing” which features Marty Friedman.

In all, this album is a great compilation of songs that Strauss should be seriously proud of. Full of Metal that will please anyone who appreciates melody, and virtuoso playing which is not self-indulgent, Cryptic Rock gives The Call of the Void 4.5 out of 5 stars.  

Nita Strauss – The Call of the Void / Sumerian Records (2023)

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