ALBUM REVIEW: MTVoid (Tool) – Matter’s Knot, Pt.1


Tool’s bassist Justin Chancellor and Polish Alt-Metal outfit Sweet Noise’s frontman Peter Mohamed first met at a European music festival. A shared desire to collaborate in some way or another finally came to fruition in 2013 with MTVoid’s first album, Nothing’s Matter. Now ten years on the pair release their follow up, Matter’s Knot, Pt.1 (Lobal Orning).   


Yes, this lot likes punny titles. 


MTVoid certainly references an intriguing assortment of influences and inspirations. William S. Burroughs, Apocalypse Now, and Heart of Darkness are acknowledged, while vocals on the record mix Polish, English, and Arabic. With Chancellor and Mohamed handling most of the instrumentation and production themselves, there are an assortment of collaborators, such as Death Grips producer Andy Morin and vocalist Isabel Munoz-Newsome.


Musically, there are glimpses of Tool in some of their more dreamy, spacey moments. In general though, the music is more comparable to some ever-so-slightly industrial, electronic rock of the nineties. Prodigy, Massive Attack, and Tricky come to mind– the latter especially in some of the hushed, slightly sinister vocals of “Drop Out”.

Marilyn Manson, Killing Joke, and Skinny Puppy are all hinted at in the skittery drums and propulsive bass of the sex-dungeon-evoking “Propagator”. At times, as on the opening and closing tracks, the tone is more ambient, while the music is at its most in-your-face aggressive on the electro-goth “MaBeLu”. 


Starting out with quivering, insidiously seductive vocals that build into a dalek-like scream, there’s a sense that MTVoid would like to channel some of the power electronics fury of Whitehouse. It is in such comparisons though that the album displays its limitations.  


The overall feeling of Matter’s Knot Pt. 1 is an album that would like to be quite mind-bendingly surreal and profound, but lands more like fairly surface-level darkness and rebellion of the sort that a teenage Nine Inch Nails fan could absorb. 


But while the music is never so ‘out there’ and the poetically intended lyrics don’t leave much of an impression, the overall effect of the record is nonetheless mysterious, intriguing, well-performed, and sleekly produced enough to stimulate the synapse receptors. Matter’s Knot Pt. 1 will likely not squeegee your third eye open, but it leaves a mark all the same. 


Buy the album here: 


7 / 10