Voices – London (Candlelight)Thursday, 22nd January 2015
Voices, to many the spiritual successor of the mighty Akercocke, managed to pull off a few surprises with their debut, From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain. Keeping in line with the sexually-linked lyricism of their previous unit, Voices seemed to be more of an expansion and more avant garde – removing the guttural and replacing it with a more esoteric and dissonant approach. For the band’s second release, Voices attempts a conceptual album that feels as twisted and dark as the bleak cover hints towards.
London feels almost like a noir film (even including the dark voice-overs). Akin to taking a trip to the seedy underbelly of the title’s city, it’s a gritty and dirty trip to the underworld. Utilizing spiraling and often terrifying riffs and juxtapositioning them with moments of strange calm, London will keep you at the end of your seat. One of the more punishing tracks, “The FuckTrance” elevates things to levels of near-psychosis, with heightening riffs and thundering blasts enveloping themselves around crazed screams and bleak singing that creates an atmosphere of sheer dread. Other tracks, such as the frenzied beats of “The House of Black Light” and the unsettling eeriness of “Last Train Victoria Line,” which features blood-curdling screams amid spoken lines like “Do you ever picture him, when you’re fucking me?” keep the intensity moving. Yet the opening “Suicide Note,” “Hourglass,” and “The Ultimate Narcissist” offer a respite from the bizarre with more melodic and esoteric moments that are strangely inviting without feeling out of place.
While From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain offered some potential to Akercocke fans (and extreme metal fans for that matter), London sees them really capitalizing on their momentum. Utterly bleak and really capturing a feeling of a demented rollercoaster ride, London is an exquisite trip worth taking on repeated occasions.