Review Summary: Plini continues to deviate down a very interesting prog path
The rating isn't as biased as you'd think. Sure, I adore the music, but I don't rate something 5 without second thoughts. Impulse Voices brings 39 new minutes of music, which brings Plini's repertoire to a total of roughly 2,5 hours of listening joy (what numbers!!). While his signature Strandberg sound is unmistakably his own, Plini is constantly experimenting with new sound directions, especially in terms of unusual signatures. By doing so, I never found myself bored while listening, and certain songs gripped me right from the start.
A thing I noticed on Impulse Voices is how weirdly diverse it is. The music sounds the same in many ways, the drums still have the same punchy sound and the bass is always present, rarely following the guitar leads. While the music can be heavy at times (see the end of Papelillo), it can have an entirely different atmosphere a couple of minutes apart (see the start of Papelillo). The intro melody, as strange as this will sound, I have never heard anything similar. It's incredibly flowing and trippy. The last minute of Perfume is also unheard personally, with synths and a beat reminiscent of a party song accompanyed with solo guitar. Keyboard solos á la Snarky puppy. A harp solo on The Glass Bead Game perhaps? Yeah, *** it.
The intricacy, technicality and brilliant execution of it all stuns me. His playing style is incredibly melodic most of the time, but knows exactly when to push it to up to eleven. The details to be found all around the record are blown in your face en masse, while never finding it excessive or out of place, or tiresome. Plini, remembering all the parts and its details, must straight up not have a good time. The details aren't restricted to Plini's guitar most of the time. The drummer often lays down very complicated and solid grooves, and keeps the rhythm going (or not when he wants to like on Papelillo's midsection). Simon Groves (a-ha-ha, Simon Groovy!) keeps the bass fat as tradition.
Though Plini is unproductive, the wait is worth it. This record was immediately appreciated by me, and I keep it spinning once a day to fully grasp all the elements found within, and there is still more to be discovered. Don't be a loser, go win the Glass Bead Game.