VOLA — Applause Of A Distant Crowd (review)

VOLA — Applause Of A Distant Crowd album cover Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"Applause Of A Distant Crowd" is the second full-length studio album by Danish Danish rock/metal act Vola. The album was released through Mascot Records in October 2018. It´s the successor to "Inmazes" from February 2016 and features one lineup change as original drummer Felix Ewert has been replaced by Swedish drummer Adam Janzi.

The material on "Applause Of A Distant Crowd" is, although it´s not as heavy and riff oriented as the material on "Inmazes", and generally features more electronic pop/rock music influences, still the sound of Vola. Melancholic and atmospheric rock/metal with the strong and expressive vocals of Asger Mygind in front. This time around just focused less on heavy riffs and rhythms (although they do appear on some tracks like they do on "Smartfriend"). Katatonia is an obvious influence (the Norwegians in Manes could be another valid reference and other times the Polish in Riverside), but also fellow countrymen in Mew are a big influence on Vola´s sound. Vola is often described as a progressive rock/metal act, but they are generally (at least on this release) a pretty straight forward vers/chorus structured rock/metal act with big catchy melancholic choruses, sophisticated choir- and harmony vocal work, and a great understanding of songwriting dynamics. There are a few exceptions on "Applause Of A Distant Crowd", where Vola treat themselves and their audience to some unconventional time-signatures and some pretty heavy riffs and rhythms, but it´s not the dominant sound on the album.

While some listeners may miss the heaviness of the debut album, this slighly more mellow and electronic tinged sophomore release is still a high quality album, which is wrapped in a powerful, clear, and detailed sound production, which perfectly suits the material. The melancholic melodies and atmospheric songwriting approach work really well, and although not used that much on this release, the heavy riffs and rhythms occasionally provide some needed bombast and edge. It is overall a soothing, beautiful, and mellow melodic rock/metal release though, so don´t come to this expecting something that´ll kick your teeth in. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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