Written by: PP on 17/11/2010 06:17:03

Okay, hands up who expected Votum to be a death/extreme metal band because of the name alone? *Raises metaphorical hand* me-me-me-me. I'm not usually one to care what bands decide to call themselves but honestly, Votum implies something disgusting and horrible, and most definitely not carefully constructed, introspective progressive rock as they happen to be playing on their (more appropriately titled) new album "Metafiction". It's a seven song concept album "with enchanting vocal parts and keyboard soundscapes" if you are to believe the promo sheet, and you should, cause it sums up the essence of this record quite nicely.

Now, progressive bands that fit that definition are a dime a dozen, but what separates Votum from the rest is their calm, surprisingly soft take on the genre. You often have minimalistic instrumentation instead of the megalomaniac you see on, well, Dream Theater records, where the band allows vocalist Maciej Kosinski's soft voice to live to its full potential. These guys clearly know what they are doing, constructing songs based on their strengths and inspirations instead of a predefined idea of how progressive rock is supposed to sound like. I like that about them, and whereas prog rock usually bores the living shit out of me, Votum have successfully kept my interest through several listens for that fact alone. It's no show off record, it's one with a purpose, and that purpose is to create smoothly transitioned progressive atmospheres. The key word in that four-word power bunch is atmosphere, as that has been the primary goal of the band behind the record. Porcupine Tree fans, look this way.

Progressive rock tends to be a niché genre of music, and Votum is likely to satisfy the fans of that niché really well. Though only sporting seven songs, "Metafiction" still feels unforgivably long for the non-experienced prog listener, and that's probably why I've not grown to have as much of a liking to this record as I probably should've. It's very professionally recorded, and the progressions and song structures are deviating enough for me to not lump them in the bin like the majority of their like-sized colleagues (big bands aside, of course). Will prog fans take a liking to it? Probably, because for once, you have a band who is determined to NOT try and copy Dream Theater, which is a refreshing change. Decent record but could've been a song or two shorter.

Download: Home
For the fans of: Spock's Beard, Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Katatonia
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.03.2010
Mystic Production

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