Monday, Sept. 27, 2010

Votum

Metafiction (Armoury Records)

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A dark new breed of progressive rock has emerged in recent years, marked by doomy atmospherics and strong emotion, and starring such bands as Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Riverside and Anathema. Now add to that growing list Poland’s Votum, whose second album, Metafiction, practically defines the subgenre’s melancholy.

Opener “Falling Dream” begins with a crying piano set to an uneasy rhythm that’s soon accompanied by the warm, likable voice of Maciej Kosinski. The intensity builds to goose-bump strength over nine minutes, with soaring vocals and a gorgeous guitar solo. It’s a mesmerizing listen that sets high the bar for the rest of Metafiction,and songs like “Home” and “Glassy Essence” come close to matching it. The aggressive “Stranger Than Fiction” is punctuated by quick death-metal grunts that do nothing to diminish Votum’s impact, and each subsequent listen reveals new layers.


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