Oh I see what you did there, naming an instrumental album ‘Voices,’ very clever but not sure about calling yourself an occult rock band when there are no spells being incanted verbally. Mind you there is plenty going on musically on this power trios 4th album so who knows what ungodly portals they could open in the right setting. Listening to this again right now I would certainly imagine that it is on the live platform this lot are at their most potent. If you are wondering about their name it’s derived from a mountainous Indonesian region and is an ancient religion, if you were not, well you know now anyway. There are no higher learning clues on the song titles here as they as the album is divided into 6 tracks labelled simply as their individual running times. Not sure why as basically this is just one long continuous piece of music running just over the ¾ of an hour mark.
It all crunches in together with some booming drums and slow and sluggishly played elongated guitar tones and then gradually builds into a twisty turning labyrinthine hyper-kinetic jam-out. The band make it all seem so natural and that is where this works so well, it’s certainly no paint drying exercise and there is plenty going on if you are prepared to give it your all and truly listen as everything unfolds. There is some hefty underlying bass work bolstering the bottom end and guitars spiral and weave around them, the drums the ballast and glue holding it all together. It is no surprise to learn that over the 107 live shows they have performed since 2004 the trio have played with everyone from Sunn0))) to Faust. There’s definitely a darkened Krautrock vibe going on here as this simmers away and at times boils over but it is a sound that familiarity wise reminds me most of the works and actions of famed musician and producer James Plotkin and if I had learned that he had been involved here I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.
There’s a bit of futuristic noodling going on and this has a real progressive feel to it at times, I know that word is bandied about far too much but it does fit in here. As a non player there are times that I find it a bit of a jaw-dropping experience and a get a bit out of my depth with the turmoil and juddering layers plummeting me to their depths. I would imagine that this is music other creative musicians would definitely appreciate and possibly even have a better understanding of how to fathom it all out. As for me I can just hang on and see where it takes me deriving pleasure just from being dragged off on the somewhat giddy journey.
This is one of those reviews I could waffle on about every cut and thrust of the ‘telluric instrumentation’ (the biogs words not mine) or just cut it short and let it be. I’m favouring the latter option as at the moment I’m in the trough of another hypnotic downturned passage waiting for the next peak to hit. I wouldn’t consider that I have completely uncovered any alchemical musical magick here yet but with the right substances added to the mix who knows. I have enjoyed the ride though and those looking for some forward thinking expressionism should certainly give these ‘Voixes’ a whirl.
(7/10 Pete Woods)