Technically, I’m cheating. Votum has already been featured on the blog. However, the rule that states that these Hey! Listen to This posts should feature completely new bands has always been loosely defined. After all, we covered them previously in 2011! It stands to reason that many of you have never read that review. And, even if you did, it wasn’t very favorable and with good reason. Their previous material is a bit weak compared with the quality of music they’re pushing nowadays. Earlier this year, in February to be exact, they released :Ktonik: and it’s a major step upwards for them. Thus, the time is ripe to refresh your memory about these guys and the solid, moving and progressive metal which they make.
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Opening track “Satellite”, also the leading single from the album, is a perfect place to start. It has the Votum formula all lined up for you to consume. The instruments are a meld between TesseracT and Karnivool, channeling the palm-muteness of the former while still containing the distinct, melancholic edge of the latter. Much like the former, the vocals also play a very prominent role in manufacturing the raw atmosphere of the track. They’re lost and somber but they also lift off to great heights, utilizing an impressive power and accuracy at those uplifted moments. This creates a progressive metal creation that also relies on a certain popiness and accessibility with a bittersweet, evocative edge.
Another point of indicative interest is “Simulacra”, smack in the middle. This track is slightly heavier, with the drums playing a more dynamic and fast paced beat. The guitars follow suit, guided this time by thick bass and a consistent groove. However, pay attention to the backing synths and how they gild everything in their faint, haunting croon. They remind me most of Nahema, an obscure, progressive band which had a very distinct synth sound to them. This brings the modern, progressive metal toolkit full circle; Votum have definitely done their research since last time. Everything sounds more concise and the delivery of their ideas shines in the new light. It has brought them above the crop, performing solid and competent progressive metal to the table, replete with all the twists, turns and emotions that one might expect of the genre.