martedì 14 aprile 2015

Voivotus - Oma Randa

Artist: Voivotus
Album: Oma Randa
Release date: April 12, 2015
Label: Independent
Genre: Blackgaze with a noise twist

One man project from Russia. We seem to be getting a lot of these lately. Second album - no idea how the first one was, but it's on bandcamp, so check it out. Obviously unsigned. The coolest thing, I feel, is that Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen was born and lives in Karelia (on the border between Russia and Finland, north of St. Petersburg), and he chose to make music in Karelian. Always nice to have some glocalization.

It's one of the rarest instances of a balanced mix between shoegazing and black metal, which is a feat in itself; but then Voivotus goes out of his way to throw in a ton of noise sections, with the same creative care of a sampling artist. He's got imagination and he's bold enough to put it into practice. Most of the times he goes for strident rather than oversaturated - definitely refreshing. It's not mind-numbingly savage as the best noise music on the market, because it's compensated by the aforementioned atmospheric touches. A great overall balance between three different styles with a lot to offer, essentially. Nägimižih is the one track where everything blends together perfectly, while Pädemätöi GiperPoreja does noise well and Tähtiyö is a nice piece of black metal.

If you ask me, it doesn't make much sense to have three songs under three minutes and one over twentytwo, but power to the artist. That song, Vuottamini Vei Aikua, is the only moment where you can feel that the intention did not materialize into coherent music. You basically nod along and say "yeah, I get it, it's supposed to be this and that", but it's just not there.
Aside from that, the only real drawback to this album is the sound: it's not deep nor clear enough to effectively deliver the chaos at the center of Voivodus' blend of styles. Studio issues can usually be worked out with the right changes, so nothing to worry about.

I'd love it if every artist in the atmospheric black metal scene started doing the same thing as Voivotus does. There's a sense of innate bravery in this album, a feeling that Voivodus comes from a lot of different inspirations which somehow work together. This kind of experimental approach is what the scene desperately needs right now.

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