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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Votum - :KTONIK:

Votum’s new album :KTONIK: is a very atmospheric album, serene and ethereal almost, with immense outbursts of soundwalls that are very impressive, though at times it is slightly more of the same epicness, which not always makes it an interesting listen throughout. Overall though, it is a very nice effort of the Polish band.

The album starts out with a song called Satellite which is saturated throughout with pianos and strings without becoming a guitarless ballad. The build-up to the climax of the song is very smooth and almost unknowingly it explodes. A very promising start.

Throughout the album this is the setup for most songs; ethereal and almost whispering vocals with few guitars build up to immense sounds. But Votum is not a one-trick pony, and with Simulacra the sixtet shows they can also jump right into a song full force, and think about toning it down only later. It even can get away with a short girl’s choir which turns from heavenly to hellish with the pummeling guitars flying in halfway through. The singers eerie off-key howls after that send chills down the spine, and overall it makes it a very cinematic song.

Influences, intentionally or not, can be found in, amongst others, the French band Dagoba, which among the pummeling noise they produce also had these ‘ballad’ style songs with a long build-up. In some scarce parts it also might remind one of the Dutch band Textures, though that is perhaps mostly due to the singers’ impressive vocal range and style of singing with long high notes held for a very long time and the use of electronic sounds.

Favourite amongst the songs for me would be Greed, which showcases everything that Votum does well in an abundance. But the whole album is a very good mix of heavy and slow, silent and loud, which never really feels repetitive. The only downside would be that sometimes a song starts to become something later on, but it is not a music style to be rushed yet rather taken the time for.

Written by Frank van Drunen

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