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Voluptas – Towards the Great White Nothing

Towards the Great White Nothing
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 November 2020, 9:47 AM

VOLUPTAS are a Prague-based experimental Black Metal band, influenced by the Norwegian Avant-Garde of the 1990s and other Eccentric Rock genres. Their music occasionally incorporates various elements of Psychedelia, (free) Jazz and Noise, and their studio records, as well as live shows, often feature a guest saxophonist. “Towards the Great White Nothing” is the band’s debut full-length album and contains five tracks.

“Crystalline Key” opens the album, with a fierce rage at first. The production is somewhat muted, like you are listening to an old BLACK SABBATH record. The vocals range from guttural utterances to screams. Towards the end, the vocals turn somewhat clean, while the bass guitar thumps away. This is Black Metal, but with a twist. “Thargelia” opens with an unconventional guitar riff, and some dissonance. Following some opening chaos, clean guitars carry the dark sound, along with some feedback in the background. Guttural vocals then make an entrance as the song slows.

“Of Gnosis and Agony” opens with some guitar dissonance, and the bass joins in as well. The three instruments are going in three different directions. From there, a rhythm is established, with high pitched vocals. It fades out on an odd sound. “Between Terror and Erebus” opens with a fairly traditional Black Metal sound, with vocal screams, and galloping drums. That bass guitar though really steals much the show here, as his notes are audible, which is unusual for the genre.

The thirteen-minute long “Desert Twilight” closes the album, opening with eerie bass notes. Drums and guitar join softly. If I am not mistaken, sax notes join in as well. It builds slowly with layers. Eventually, the main riff hits. Then, it takes a different direction, with a wall of guitars and vocal screams. Competing sax notes clash against each other, while guttural vocals rise and fall in the background. It creates this harrowing sound. Some odd, noise ridden tones take the track to completion, like you are tripping on mushrooms at the twilight in the desert.

Besides the final track, which was completely unusual and interesting, the album as a whole just failed to make an impact on me. The four earlier tracks had a similar sound, which really wasn’t very experimental as advertised. I would have liked to have heard some more experimentation as in the final track, but that just wasn’t offered. Overall, just a mediocre listening experience for me.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Crystalline Key
2. Thargelia
3. Of Gnosis and Agony
4. Between Terror and Erebus
5. Desert Twilight
Štěpán – Bass
Martin – Guitars
Michal – Vocals
Jan – Guitars
Petr – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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