ALBUM REVIEW: VOLA 'WITNESS'

Have the genre-hopping band made their finest work yet?





From the opening drip of electronica and the onslaught of metal in 'Straight Lines', it's clear that the latest album by Danish-Swedish quartet, Vola is something very special indeed.


Vola have managed to articulate their disdain for the dissolution of morals and human relationships, respect, abuses of power, and generally cover the human experience through angry riffs, tender vocals, and metaphorical lyrics, but they manage to do it in a timeless way. It's the kind of progressive metal album that you could still pick up twenty years from now and it would still have the same power to move.


The follow-on fromApplause of a Distant Crowd,’ is the sonic equivalent of gazing at the beauty of nature, while the world explodes behind you. Adam Janzi (drums) mounts a full scale attack throughout the album, assisted by tail gunner Nicolai Mogensen (bass). Industrial tones of 'These Black Claws' reminiscent of NIN are fitting for a track that is inspired by depression, while 'Future Bird' deals with the loss of a child with sensitivity, with an undercurrent of percussive anger propelling the track. It's this combination of the violent and the alluring contradictions in the album that should guarantee 'Witness' its longevity.


The nine-track album keeps every song under 6 minutes, it's proggy, with jazzy key breaks and genre-hopping, but don't expect any extended solos or filler. Every song clocks in at under 6 minutes. This isn't an album that is concerned with extraneous technique or being self-indulgent, it's tight and perfectly crafted. It's easily their best album to date.



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