Voices
Breaking the Trauma Bond


3.8
excellent

Review

by Trey STAFF
November 26th, 2021 | 29 replies


Release Date: 11/26/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There is method to their madness.

I always liked Akercocke’s style of eclectic blackened death metal, but I never cared for the vocals. Truth be told, I’ve never been a fan of the guttural death metal vocals that sound more like a slur of growls than actual syllables and words – that’s where Voices comes in. Voices was born from the (temporary) dissolution of Akercocke after the release of their acclaimed album Antichrist. Voices expanded on the experimental nature of Akercocke, but they did away with the guttural vocals and a lot of the death metal influences in favor of a black metal-driven approach. Additionally, they dropped the satanic imagery of their former band and moved towards something much more literary. These changes brought with them additional progressive, goth, and post punk influences that helped flesh out the band’s more ambitious ideas.

It was on their third album, Frightened, where Voices dropped quite a bit of the extreme elements and moved towards something more akin to an eccentric and energetic version of Katatonia’s Tonight’s Music. It was still a good album, but it lost a lot of the extremes that made the first two albums so good. Apparently, the band felt the same way because Breaking the Trauma Bond returns the violent black metal elements that were so lacking on Frightened while also introducing some of the death metal elements they hadn’t really used since Akercocke. The result is an album that seems to effortlessly swing from Tonight’s Music style Katatonia to blackened death metal akin to modern Behemoth, while also utilizing a smattering of progressive, goth, electronics, and post punk influences – even drifting straight into Pink Floyd territory in a few instances (especially “Running Away” which is 100% Pink Floyd).

Anyone that listened to Voices’ early 2021 EP release, An Audience of Mannequins, was already aware the band were making a return to extreme metal in a big way. An Audience of Mannequins hits immediately with ferocious (but intelligible) death metal vocals, break-neck percussion, black metal shrieks, and crushing riffs – oh… and harmonized vocals, subtle piano, and abstract atonal ambience. Sometimes these elements are blended, and sometimes they’re part of a jarring change that seemingly comes from nowhere. It would be tough, though, to paint the entire album with the entire brush. For every crushing blackened death track such as “Breaking the Trauma Bond” or “An Audience of Mannequins” there’s a counterpoint such as the Pink Floyd worship of “Running Away”, the electronics dominated “My Sick Mind”, or the ambient prog of “She Speaks to Him in a Dream”. There’s also a prominent goth/post punk sound on quite a few of these songs. “Lilacs In-Between” is one of those songs. “Lilacs In-Between”, operates out of a Katatonia-goes-post-punk foundation complete with melodic electronic nuances, prominent piano melodies, and harmonized vocals while also breaking into blackened death metal that recedes as quickly as it emerged. One thing is for sure, Breaking the Trauma Bond isn’t a one-trick pony stuck on one particular recurring formula.

It feels like Breaking the Trauma Bond is the album Voices has been trying to achieve since their inception. It features the raw extremes of their debut, the artsy progressive tendencies of London, and the gothy post punk of Frightened, but every element is delivered with so much more conviction and aptitude than at any time previously. They’ve also become much more adept at songwriting. Despite the chaos and constant jarring stylistic contrasts, every song sounds like its own entity and features at least one element that will stick with you long after you’re done listening. The tendency for every track to break in unexpected ways also helps to maintain the excitement and anticipation despite the sixty-nine-minute runtime. With the release of Breaking the Trauma Bond, Voices have released an album that features the best of their previous releases while still expanding and evolving in new and exciting ways.




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user ratings (42)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
November 26th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Full Album: https://voiceslondon.bandcamp.com/album/breaking-the-trauma-bond



My favorite track, Ghost City: https://voiceslondon.bandcamp.com/track/ghost-city

Digging: Underoath - Voyeurist

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2021


16250 Comments


I have missed Willie reviews. Nice little November addition my man.

Digging: Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion

Willie
Moderator
November 26th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Ha ha. Thanks. Figured I'd go with something a little under the radar if I was going to take the time to write again.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2021


9403 Comments


Interesting stuff and great review, bookmarked and what Robert said.

Digging: Kold Front - Kold Front

Frost15
November 26th 2021


1027 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

New Voices yay!

Digging: Dolorian - When All The Laughter Has Gone

bigguytoo9
November 27th 2021


1190 Comments


Gotta hear this, usually enjoy this band and I love Akercocke.

Willie
Moderator
November 27th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I like Akercocke's music, but could never get into the more unintelligible guttural growls. The death metal vocals on this album are of the punchier variety (I can't think of a better word). If you enjoy this band, you should like this. Personally, it's my favorite of the four.

Muzz79
November 27th 2021


1532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

An Audience of Mannequins is hooking me in to this. Getting an Ihsahn vibe

Digging: Sgaile - Ideals & Morality

DDDeftoneDDD
November 27th 2021


19656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Love Voices! Need to check this. Is this more like the previous one or more like London? (London is terrific)

Digging: Wiegedood - There's Always Blood at the End of the Road

DePlazz
November 27th 2021


3379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Loved London, didn't know they had sth new out, will check

Willie
Moderator
November 27th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

This is more like London for sure. They've added elements from the previous album, but definitely more like London. You can stream all the songs at the bottom of the review.

Frost15
November 27th 2021


1027 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

London is superb agreed. Their previous one did not catch my attention that much but if this one is closer to London I must give it a go.

DDDeftoneDDD
November 27th 2021


19656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"This is more like London for sure"



hehe "music" to my ears

Willie
Moderator
November 28th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Looking forward to people getting around to hearing it.

DePlazz
November 28th 2021


3379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not really feeling this, guess I'm not that in the mood for the goth/noir/post punk thing they have going on and which was less prevalent on London iirc

Willie
Moderator
November 28th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

More goth/noir/post punk than London, but much less than Frightened.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2021


26865 Comments


This looks like my cup of tea, will check! Thanks for the heads up Willie! (Totally forgot to include it on the releases post, but it's because I didn't even know them!)

Digging: Tomb of Annihilation - End of Time

Pikazilla
November 29th 2021


20745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This doesn't quite reach the heights of London but an excellent record nonetheless.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


26865 Comments


I couldn't get past the vocals for some reason, the drumming was insane though. Just heard the first 4 tracks, will give it a full listen maybe later but I have low hopes this sticks with me ;(

Willie
Moderator
November 30th 2021


19039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah, they have some of those "Tonight's Decision"-style Katatonia vocals that you either appreciate or you don't.



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