Many bands start out on uncertain footing, with many directions their music might go down later in their journeys, but a clear lack of dynamics present in the here and now. VOLA, with their debut Inmazes, have no such problem. Prepare to have your attention well and truly grabbed.
The Same War is a blast into warped and mind melding, beautifully paced music. Before we have really begun, VOLA are already carving a groove all of their own with their heavy Electronic, Progressive Metal. The flowing change of direction throughout the track as the wash of calm synth laden breakdowns, the layered guitars sweeping through while the beat of the drum runs through not like a heart, but like a soul. This track is ever moving and masterfully composed; It’s so easy to fall into its depths, and suck you into the rest of the album.
Stay The Skies once again cranks up the tangle of gnarly, deep bass and guitars, the thunder of drums and the overall heaviness of the verse is balanced with the more melodic, more serene chorus. There’s a real feeling that this is a track with a higher meaning, the heat and heaviness mixed with the re This is poetry in the form of music, the cosmic feel of this track is astounding. Equally Starburn is just as wondrous, be it with a softer opener that leaves you feeling like for thirty seconds you’re drifting on water. That water soon becomes a tidal, however, as those distinctive vocals of Asger Mygind’s lyrics just layer over the music so perfectly. Martin Werner (keys & programming) is a genius here, just enough of his own style coming in here, fusing with the work of Nicolai Mogensen (bass) and Felix Ewert (drums). Overall, with the riffs on offer here, Starburn becomes something that feels nostalgic and yet completely fresh at the same time. Each member of this band is pivotal in making this what it is, and that strong identity with each individual makes for a very sturdy makeup in VOLA.
Moving on, Owls is bouncier, more grounded in the here and now, very fun and released from any inhibitions. Technically just as coated with incredible sounds, but the overall tone is much lighter, less weighed in the complexities of that is above. Instead, this track is like flight, like wonderful ease and joy. All too soon, these minutes are all but over. Your Mind Is A Helpless Dreamer is another stonking, thumping, thick, heavy piece, with mystical qualities. Much as its title suggests, it’s like being in a dream land, a vast expanse is conjured. This is the kind of music you can lose yourself to, utterly in the imagination of the piece.
The most unique thing about VOLA here is that this honestly feels like nothing out there at the moment. It’s a span of tone and melody that blends the electronic and the heavy metal aspects together is seamlessly you wonder how no one has made music like this before. Emily is much softer than anything before, the very stripped back version of what VOLA has to offer. This is no bad thing, to have something a little more like DEPECHE MODE’s more tranquil moments. Star-gazery and very lovely, it’s not one of those wanting to keep things heavy, but otherwise still a stunning little moment in this chock-full album.
Gutter Moon brings back the weight once again, the keys still a nice echo to the track previous, while still keeping the feeling a little more on the solid side. Keeping up momentum, A Stare Without Eyes is like a murder in your ears, it’s dangerous, it’s tanged with iron and ferocity.
Penultimately, Feed The Creatures is something new and yet, again, not a stale imitation of something else on the album. There’s an interlinking theme here for sure, but nothing is weighted down by what has gone before. There’s plenty of energy left at this point in the album, and thankfully it’s not forced either.
Inmazes is really out there, it has to be said. Sitting perfectly at the end of the record, the title track is a whacky bit of fun that can take you all over. If you want a little of the feeling PRIMUS gives you, that uncertainty, then you’re going to fall in love with this little screwball track just as much as all the rest of the album. Ending out with that nice soft edge, and fading into silence, you’ll be left in two minds here. You do want to sit and contemplate what you’ve just listened to, or do you want to play it all over and experience it again as soon as possible?
All in all, this is one of the most promising, vivid and creative expenses of music to come out in a long time, and even has the potential to be an album of the year. A huge amount of effort, thought and talent has gone into this album, and if Inmazes is anything to go by, VOLA have something epic coming up for them in their career. For sure, in terms of new bands, there’s nothing that comes close to touching on this record in recent times.
Inmazes is set for release on September 16th via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.
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