Voices - From The Human Forest Create A Fugue Of Imaginary [Candle Light Records - 2013]It’s always difficult/sad when one of your favourite projects or bands announces their giving up making music or sound, but it’s even worse if said band or project just seems to stop putting out stuff, and your none the wiser if they’ve given up or not…and you’re just left hanging. Such a thing happen with Akercocke- the English progressive blacked/ death metal band. In 2007 they put out one of the best albums of their five album career “Antichrist”, which perfectly mixed together the bands brutal/atmospheric side with their more progressive/experimental side. But since then all there has been is rumours, and no real confirmation one way or another if the band is no more or not….and this is where Voices come in.
This new project brings together three members of Akercocke- drummer David Gray, bass player Peter Benjamin(who now takes on guitar & lead singing duties) and live keyboardist Sam Loynes ( plus non Akercock member Dan Abela on bass), and I guess really this tell us Akercocke is no more. Voices have labelled themselves as technical avant garde black metal, and while this is a handy enough label for what can be found on their debut album. Much like Akercocke their sound is really very difficult to pin down into one place, as the band weave their song craft with elements from all over the place- taking from both metal & other genres too, and that’s what makes this such an enjoyable & re-playable album.
Opening up the album we have “Dnepropetrovsk”, which switches between the perfect storm of galloping blast beats, discordant/ grim guitar harmonics, gruff amassed/ a-speeding vocals. And a more hypnotic speeding dark rock vortex & a deep dark chugging break down in it’s last moments.
Track number two “Eyes Become Black”, mixers blacked guitar churns, dark rock metallic’s, speedy discordant weaved riff pile-ups, clear vocals & darken growls. With a atmospheric & moody chours that takes in pummelling drum beats, dark piano marchers & darkly stern yet sensual female vocals.
Track five “Sexual Isolation” mergers together a verse that takes in chugging ‘n’ searing blacked mettlics, with swinging dark indie harmonics & guttural vocals. With a chours that summons up churning New Model Army like guitar textures, tribal drum pound & a darken/yet up-lifting mix of vocals that take in the guttural & rising 1980’s dark male pop crooning.
All nine tracks featured on the album manage to capture the perfect mixture of malevolent & brutal technical blacked metal, with more atmospheric & darkly harmonic elements. I guess you’d say the bands sound at the moment is more squarely based in blacked & galloping metal compared with Akercocke’s latter efforts, but of course this is a different band from Akercocke, sure you can hear connections between the two, but Voices very much have their own sound & identity too. With “From The Human Forest Create A Fugue Of Imaginary Rain” Voices have created a distinctive opening shot that is both darkly & brutally satisfying, yet moody & memroble too.