This album has been gradually worming its way into my consciousness for a couple of weeks.

Vola are Danish and while this is ostensibly in the Prog genre they don’t seem to fit any handy pigeon hole – and all the better for it.

There are moments of genuinely chillingly heavy metal as well as swathes of soaring and twinkling fairy lights of melody.
‘Smartfriend’ is immensely powerful but even then there is beauty while there are moments in tracks such as ‘Ruby Pool’ that become mesmerising and take you deep into the sound but you are brought right back to earth with the opening to ‘Alien Shivers’.

The quality of playing is superb, Martin Werner’s keyboards bringing out the vocals of Asger Mygind and matched by the power and brilliance of Adam Janal’’s drums and Nicolai Mogenson’s heavy bass. The heart of the music is really the lyrics and vocals of Mygind – his guitar add yet another texture – and he writes music that really catches the listener’s attention.

Modern Prog in the likes of Dream Theatre or Fish On Friday is almost breaking into the realms of modern classical, the imagery and intensity of the music allied with the almost symphonic nature of some of the compositions. Vola sit very well in that camp but there is a distinct edge that takes them into a different and less pompous realm – they even seem to be able to take the piss out themselves from time to time.

Definitely, for me, one of the better Prog albums released this year and one that bears a lot of listening to.

Vola are on tour in November with Monuments:
Fri Nov 2nd - Bar 42, Worthing
Sat Nov 3rd - Damnation Festival, Leeds
Sun Nov 4th - The Globe, Cardiff
Mon Nov 5th - G2, Glasgow
Tues Nov 6th - Foundry, Belfast
Wed Nov 7th - Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
Thurs Nov 8th - Factory, Manchester
Fri Nov 9th - The Dome, London
Sun Nov 11th - Macmillan Festival, Bristol

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