Voldt – Voken

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: May, 2019
Released: 2019, Unsigned
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Progressive metal now includes so many variations that the days where I could say this band sounds like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Opeth or Voivod are long gone. Truth is, it is nearly impossible to keep up as bands continue to push against any and all boundaries. Voldt hails from Hamburg, Germany and formed in 2017. Voken is their EP debut and the band has incorporated a wide range of influences. Interspersed without Voken are traces of Opeth in the clean vocal passages, black metal in the harsh passages, and metalcore/female fronted metal tropes by alternating between clean and guttural vocals.

The opening track “To Forge Ahead” was perfectly chosen to introduce the band, with its twisting rifts and descending triplet chugs. Guitarist Al Shirazi and bassist Johannes Horas handle vocal duties, employing clean and tasteful passages before shifting to fast and brutal blackened vocals. While a significant part of the album follows this template, there are shifts in delivery as well. Album closer, “Black” is a dark acoustic ballad, with expressive and emotional vocal, while “End Of Times” relies on only a few harsh vocal passages.

From a mix perspective the music sounds thick and clear, the band employing the expected down-tuned guitar sound through most of the album. Like most progressive metal, locking in and reaching a point as a listener where songs resonate might take some time, as the varied paths and tempos the music travels make for a stuttering albeit enjoyable ride. I personally found the clean passages the most enjoyable and connecting, where as the brutal and faster passages and vocals did not always feel like natural inclusions, but more shoe-horned. Still, this is worthy of a listen for anybody that likes Opeth, Between The Buried and Me and Amorphis.


Track Listing:

01 To Fore Ahead
02 A Tractate of Doom
03 End of Times
04 Conqueress
05 Graceful Fury
06 Black


Al Shirazi- vocals/guitars
Johannes Horas – bass/vocals
Wanja Gröger – drums