VOLA — Inmazes (review)

VOLA — Inmazes album cover Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Inmazes" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish rock/metal act Vola. The album was originally independently released in February 2015, but saw a label release through Mascot Records in September 2016. Vola formed in 2006 and released their first official release in November 2008, which was the "Homesick Machinery" EP. It was followed by the release of the March 2010 one-track digital single "Glasswork", and the October 2011 "Monsters" EP. Then nothing was released for a few years until "Inmazes" appeared.

Although especially the "Monsters" EP featured some pretty high quality material, it´s obvious when listening to "Inmazes", that Vola were only in their formative stages as a band, when they recorded and released the three early career releases. They weren´t finished developing their sound and style, and "Inmazes" in all departments sounds much more fully developed and well thought out, than any of the preceding material from Vola.

Stylistically Vola play a melancholic and atmospheric rock/metal style which features both mellow and epic melodic sections and harder hitting and heavy chugging sections. The strong voice of lead vocalist/guitarist Asger Mygind and the catchy melody lines and supporting choirs and harmony vocals are great assets of the band´s sound in addition to the well composed and memorable tracks. It´s interesting to note that in addition to foreign artists like Katatonia and Porcupine Tree, who are obvious influences on Vola´s music, there is also a strong influence from fellow countrymen Mew. The track "Gutter Moon" is almost an ode to Mew or at least strongly influenced by the quirky progressive pop/rock melodies of that band ("Owls" is another example). The Mew influence is heard pretty much throughout the album when Vola don´t play their most heavy parts, then it´s other influences who are at play.

"Inmazes" features a clear, detailed, and powerful sounding production, and it´s a sound production perfectly fitting the material. Upon conclusion "Inmazes" is a strong debut album from Vola, and they immediately land on their feet with this release. They had a few years and releases building up to this album, and this is the perfect culmination of those years and the efforts made to come to this place. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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