Upon hearing Copenhagen’s Vola and their latest recording, Applause of a Distant Crowd, I am reminded of many things; different musics and bands/artists, of course, but also peace – and roaring silence, mixed with violence. The vocals can go anywhere from a whisper to a full-on growl, but usually settle on somewhere sonically inbetween. In particular, I was reminded of *Frost and Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree. Older listeners may also detect a bit of Alan Parsons Project here and there. But enough of the comparisons and the influences. What Vola are is a solid rock band. There are ethereal moments, as there are with most progressive rock/metal outfits, but there are also riff-laden sonic shouts herein.
The tunes themselves are just about the perfect length for FM radio, in particular AOR. There are some instances where they would most likely be welcome on classic rock or prog radio, but there are enough mellow passages to make one tempted to downgrade the availability of airwaves. For example, the heavy funkiness of Smartfriend contrasts almost bluntly with the whisper rap of the vocals. Ruby Pool and Still, by contrast, contain some of the most beautiful piano work I’ve heard all year. Most of the tracks on board here veer back and forth between the big and the small. Huge, sweeping productions sit side by side with plaintive piano beauty and fingerpicking mainly in the way of atmospherics. The closer, Green Screen Mother, is creepy and beautiful at the same time. The vocals will most likely send a shiver up your spine!
All of the tracks are good – I don’t know that I would say there are any duds, as everything on board here is musically worthy. For those of you that enjoy your rock or metal being atmospheric in the way described above – out there on the prog wind in the land of vocal FX and riffs that pound you into submission at the drop of a hat – but subtly – then Vola may be exactly what you’ve been looking for!
1. We Are Thin Air
4. Ruby Pool
5. Alien Shivers
8. Applause of a Distant Crowd
10. Green Screen Mother
Playing Time: Forty-two minutes and forty seconds
Asger Mygind (guitar & vocals)
Martin Werner (keys & programming)
Nicolai Mogensen (bass)
Adam Janzi (drums)