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Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Cat #: IW83054
Release Year: 2016
Packaging Type: Jewel Case
Votum is a band that never had it easy. Hailing from Poland and playing a sombre atmospheric brand of progressive metal with little technicality, they instantly got compared to the internationally successful countrymates Riverside. They still haven't been quite able to shake off this comparison even despite the fact that Polish bands inspired by them, have been the most successful.
This album signifies a new direction since the guitarist Aleksander Salamonik and the singer Maciej Kosiński left the band after recording the latest studio album and got replaced by Piotr Lniany and Bartosz Sobieraj respectively.
Sobieraj is an interesting new vocalist since his style is more grungy and raspy compared to Kosiński's rather mellow tone.
With new members, the sound is much darker and heavier as you would judge by the dark cover with weird geometric shape thing on dark scenery. While Votum has always walked the line between progressive rock and metal, there are barely any rock elements on this. This is just straight-up metal. Despite the heavier and dense sound in general, there are no tracks with harsh vocals even though all band's previous albums contained one. Almost all tracks are in slower to mid-tempo with only a handful of faster moments. Song structure-wise, most songs are closer to post-metal than prog-metal bands due to the frequent use of crescendos. The atmosphere is mainly built up by solid keyboard work that never sounds cheesy. It is also worth noting that despite being the band's second longest album, there are no tracks above 7 minutes in length so they don't feel like dragging out.
The first 3 tracks all follow a very similar structure. Apart from "Spiral", all start with heavy introductions before calming down and then transition into an explosive main chorus. "Spiral" is my favourite of the three because of its pre-chorus around the 2-minute mark so the real chorus is really hard-hitting. These tracks really utilise the new vocalist's abilities. His voice really contains more personality compared to the old one who sounded like a weaker Mariusz Duda.
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