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Vokonis: Odyssey

Here is a band that really got my attention, even though this review as been a long time coming. The band is Vokonis, hailing from that hotbed of music we call Sweden. They have a few releases to their name including:

Olde One Ascending (2016)
The Sunken Djinn (2017)
Grasping Time (2019)
Odyssey (2021)

Odyssey is my first exposure to the band’s music and what a treat it has been getting acquainted with this album. Now, this is a heavy album, lots of doomy, sludgy rock and metal to be had. So, fans of heavy music will discover lots to love here. What is really cool is the band’s technical proficiency and their explorations into more progressive landscapes. The album gets more progressive as time goes by, especially with the last two tracks. More on that in a bit.

The disc immediately kicks in with the heavy metal scorcher “Rebellion” where a great groove ploughs through tricky rhythms, soaring and melodic vocals, with a few growls thrown in for good measure, and intense playing all around. The catchy melody had me hooked almost immediately. With the title track, a huge organ from Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth, Spiritual Beggars) along with heavy, sludgified guitar riffs and robust lead vocals, sets the hook with great aplomb. Some cool tempo changes and moments of slower, doom filled guitar adds diversity and technical prowess, without sounding sterile and emotionless. This band has the necessary emotion and feel that I always hope for in any music I listen to. The ripping guitar solo and great drumming had me thinking Mastodon at times. The heavy “Blackened Wings” features a stunning vocal arrangement from Johansson and Ohlsson and in “Azure” the organ and fantastic lead guitar easily stand out. Now we get to the last couple tracks starting with “Hollow Waters”, one of my favourites on the disc. Moody keyboards fill the background as the music traverses between heavy and soft, fantastic guitar riffage, and wonderful lead vocals. The last track “Through the Depths” is an absolute stunner. A super tasty guitar riff and clean vocals leads to a heavier chorus as the band’s musicianship is on full display and that riff progression is oh so addictive. A little growling adds to the intensity and around half way through the music turns into a softer-moodier section with lovely organ and guitar. Then the build begins leading to a stunning guitar solo that is so majestic, so enthralling, it took my breath away. This track is thirteen minutes of awesome progressive rock.

Odyssey is just a great album from a band that has all the ingredients to take the music industry by storm. I for one cannot wait to hear what they come up with next.

Released on The Sign Records.

Track Listing:
1. Rebellion (3:17)
2. Odyssey (8:54)
3. Blackened Wings (4:04)
4. Azure (3:50)
5. Hollow Waters (7:49)
6. Through the Depths (12:48)

Added: February 21st 2023
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 516
Language: english

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