Martin : Having previously described them as an autistic version of Wolves In The Throne Room, it is fair to say Aluk Todolo are not the easiest of bands. The trio’s previous album ‘Occult Rock’ definitely had its moments, as the mixture of repetitive black metal and trance-inducing krautrock was surely intriguing, to say the least, but Aluk Todolo took this recipe so far that repetitiveness became sheer boredom. On ‘Voix’, however, they seem to have sharpened their edge by quite the amount.
First of all, at 43 minutes, ‘Voix’ is significantly easier on the ear. This may come as a surprise, since the album is essentially one single, 43-minute song, but Aluk Todolo finally managed to make every second count. Built as an elaborate composition around a few recurring themes, the most striking being a slithering, whirling monster of a bass riff, ‘Voix’ almost immediately builds up a massive amount of tension, and never let’s go.
The other factor that makes ‘Voix’ such an outstanding record, is that Aluk Todolo finally found a distinct, virtually uniform sound. On ‘Occult Rock’ some bits were really very black metal, while other bits were really very krautrock, whereas on ‘Voix’ every second of music is neither, and both. It makes for a much smoother listening experience. Aluk Todolo have eased off the distortion, and added an enormous sense of space into their sound by doing so. Basically, the whole album sounds like Link Wray teaming up with Hawkwind to drive along the Autobahn, on their way to burn down Fantoft, while taking copious amounts of acid… and that’s a good thing!
Now that Aluk Todolo seem to have found their optimal operating temperature, it becomes all the more clear how much effort goes into every tiny detail. The musicianship on this record is simply amazing. Indeed, vocals would have been completely redundant on ‘Voix’. Stellar!