Like a phoenix Voices had emerged from the ashes of Akercocke way back in 2012. I’ve always found it a crying and inexplicable shame that such talented and innovative band with a solid concept never got the recognition they deserved, which ultimately also led to their untimely demise. When Mendonca and co reformed earlier last year, the least thing I would have expected was another record from this offshoot side project, let alone so soon after their excellent comeback album ‘Renaissance in Extremis’.
Yet, here it is, the follow up of their sophomore London. However, Frightened is an altogether different beast from the satanic blackened death that Akercocke is known for, although not particularly more optimistic.
It radiates the same type of claustrophobic, urban angst that you’ll encounter, for instance, in funeral doom act Funeralium. A similarity which is underlined by the Bethlehem like shrieks that occasionally pierce your eardrums.
The music itself is on the one hand a lot less extreme than that, yet also far less accessible. Peter Benjamin’s clean vocals, which dominate most of the songs, give it an old eighties wave vibe reminiscent of Joy Division with an equally bleak outlook on life.
Structurally, the songs tend to take rather angular turns in the vein of heyday Opeth or Voivod, coupled with the shoegazy post rock melancholia of Katatonia and more than a dash of electronics.
All this provides for an uncomfortable listen through the smog filled, twisted alleyways and neon lit signs that make up Voices’ dystopian world.
Release date: April 21 2018
Label: Candlelight/ Spinefarm
5. Dead Feelings
7. Funeral Day
9. Home Movies