When it comes to bands that have helped transform the modern doom landscape in the digital age with the aid of grand havens like Bandcamp, Vokonis is a name that absolutely should be mentioned. Their impact cannot be understated with works like “Olde One Ascending” helping to define the tastes of metalheads for years now with it surely having an impact on the new bands coming out of the woodwork. But, change is inevitable. Sooner or later, Vokonis was sure to change gears with how multi-faceted their sound has always been, and it’s with their aptly titled upcoming effort that we see that transition take place.
I’m not sure what it is in the air, but ever since Elder made their bold shift to a more prog-oriented sound with last year’s “Omens”, there has been a palpable shift in the scene with some bigger names. Whether or not they’re isolated incidents or somewhat directly related instances, it is certainly making an impact on the scene with Vokonis being the latest to make that bold shift. But, it’s with the absolute entirety of “Odyssey” that Vokonis shows us they’re beyond capable of such a transition with the six auspicious tracks found within this new effort being no less than titanic. It is undeniable from the very beginning that the spotlight for this record is held primarily on the progressive side of Vokonis for the grand vast majority of “Odyssey”, but they do not completely abandon their doom counterpart with it still having great influence on the sound at large with it even taking center stage at choice moments throughout the effort. And it’s as we go from one track to the next that we see how well Vokonis is able to bring such a shift to light while still delivering grand satisfaction, fantastic musicianship that permeates every possible second of “Odyssey” come together seamlessly to provide us with an experience that is no less than transcendent, and, to top it all off, it is just simply gripping! A prog-wreathed doom work or doom-tinged progressive record are far from new concepts but they mean nothing if put in the hands of the incapable, and if there is to be any single act to stride that line from one album to the next then I feel there’s little argument to make that Vokonis have a right to make a claim for that very throne of greatness.
Much like the predecessors to this stupendous release, “Odyssey” is the epitome of hypnotic. This is the record that many of us have been needing to fall into in order to forget about all the bullshit happening outside our doors and on our phones with this work being six unforgettable chapters of euphoria the likes of which will likely never wane when it comes to the sheer magnitude of what is accomplished here and Vokonis’s grand impact on the scene at large continues without a single worthy challenge.
“Odyssey” releases on May 7th via The Sign!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Odyssey” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Vokonis on Facebook here.