Not much to go on here, just a CD with no details at all and under 12 minutes of music. Luckily the label had told us what they had sent over in a list and we were able to fill in the gaps. Volker are a new band and this is their debut. The French act contain past and present members of acts such as Otargos and Regarde les Hommes Tomber and are fronted by Jen Nyx ex Noein. Describing themselves as playing dark and cold rock that’s just the tip of the frosty iceberg as on spinning this several times there was a whole lot more lurking behind it.
After an old ballroom sounding ghostly intro ‘375-405’ which obviously has some significance, we are thrust into ‘Bitch’ with a persuasive black n’ roll groove about it. Jen’s vocals join in and she begins to twist and turn different personalities within the ever changing musical landscape. It’s rocking and she is ranting with a range that goes from seductive to strident riot grrrl with a serious bite. This is a bitch not to piss off that’s for sure. The compulsive bombast of the music is just as infectious with it all and it’s a banger of a track it must be said. Things slow with ‘Pavor Nocturnus’ which has a dark and moody feel about it which allows the vocals to really come in to their own. I wasn’t expecting this but Jen has a real natural and sultry croon as well as the sharp ferocious bark giving the music a real sassy and smoky vibe. She could even be said to be approaching gospel here and at full range the vocals really do hit the roof. I am reminded a little of recent attention gained by Oceans Of Slumber and when this lot’s debut album comes out in 2017 Jen could well find herself giving Cammie Gilbert a serious run for her money. ‘Zombie Heart’ bites in as the last song with a rumbling powerful groove about it and dishes up a tale of bloody love and lust tying everything together. There’s some backing vocal roars, galloping rhythms and a voice that never fails to bewitch, beguile and offer a sense of serious danger every step of the way.
I have a feeling Volker could prove a name that gets a fair bit of attention in 2017 on the strength of this. The proof is in the pudding and you can find out yourself by listening here.
Just after I wrote this it has been announced the band are supporting Der Weg einer Freiheit and Moonspell at the Underworld in London on December 12-13th. If you are going, get their early!
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)