Review: Aluk Tolodo – Voix

Posted: May 21, 2016 in Reviews
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Voix cover art

French experimentalists Aluk Tolodo dropped their latest release, ‘Voix’, in February this year on Norma Evangelium Diaboli in Europe, and it is one of those albums that explores metal as a concept of sound. Fully instrumental, enigmatic song titles merely telling you their length: it comes across immediately that this isn’t going to be an instant fix.

The opener ‘8:18’ is an urgent piece of almost post rock, with a menacing undertone to it. It is building to something, something you can never quite reach, with insistent melodies reaching, grasping upward. The second part shimmers with a glacial, black metal tremolo riff  before descending into a rumbling, tribal place. ‘Voix’ (ironically French for voices) is a flowing piece, split into six tracks but essentially one long 43 minute track. This helps the music a lot because it feels like one long journey.

It is a trance inducing experience, each listen revealing new sounds, notes, tones behind the octopian drumming performance and malevolent drone. There are quieter moments (two minutes into ‘7:01’), moments of obtuse noise intervals, and no small amount of progressive, psychedelic influence. ‘Voix’ is a record that would be ruined with vocals, as the purely instrumental methods allows you to embrace every sound, every texture. Aluk Tolodo have created a piece of musical art here; difficult to process at first but infinitely rewarding with patience.


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