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Released: 2010, Armoury Records
Poland’s Votum follow a different track than most of their countrymen. They don’t black death metal, black metal, or even traditional metal, no; these six gentlemen play progressive metal through and through. Now, I’ve never heard their previous release, TIME MUST HAVE A STOP, but even applying the term progressive metal is a bit of a stretch when it comes to Votum. METAFICTION has its heavy moments but it actually has more in common with progressive rock – but at least it’s not a Dream Theater clone!
As I said, METAFICTION is a very laid back album, rarely rocking heavily, and not very impressively when it does – see “Stranger Than Fiction” which is almost ruined by some awful metalcore vocals. The rest of the album is more impressive, rolling along very wave-like and smooth. This is both because of the music and Maciej Kosinski’s incredibly smooth vocals. While his voice isn’t particularly impressive, it is perfectly suited to the music, gently but insistently pulling you along from song to song.
The album begins with the ballad-esque “Falling Dream” which sets the tone for the rest of the album with its quiet guitars and keyboard lines. There is something very accessible about the song, despite its progressive roots. The same can be said for the rest of the album, which isn’t particularly “challenging” to listen to – flying in the face of the time changes and complex rhythms that pop up in each song. This is certainly true of the epic closer, “December 20th”, which is the most progressive of all the songs. The downside of this is that the album just doesn’t command your attention – I often found myself not paying attention as the music moved along.
All told, METAFICTION is a remarkably innocuous album. While it shows promise for where Votum can go in the future, it’s not quite as strong as the best of its competition. Worth checking out, but not essential.
1) Falling Dream
2) Glassy Essence
5) Stranger Than Fiction
7) December 20th
Maciej Kosinski: Vocals
Aleksander Salamonik: Guitar
Adam Kaczmarek: Guitar
Zbigniew Szatkowski: Keyboards
Bartek Turkoski: Bass
Adam Lukaszek: Drums
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