Voices – From The Human Forest Create A Fugue Of Imaginary Rain (2013)

With the recent release of Voices’ second album London, I realised that I hadn’t written anything on the group’s astoundingly perplexing debut (if you’re a frequent reader you’ll begin to notice that this happens quite a lot haha). Voices are a band formed out of the ashes of the amazing and forever-mourned Akercocke, with all members bar one of the final Akercocke line up fleshing out Voices, along with new bassist Dan Abela, who played with Sarah Jezebel Deva’s solo project at some point.

For me, Voices brings Akercocke’s enormously intricate brand of blackened death metal into a cold, clinical, grey new world; creating a stylish, almost artsy fartsy yet mechanically precise blend of noise that is just bloody brilliant. I’ll admit it took me a while to get used to David Gray’s unusual drum sound here. Granted, he has chosen some very unusual sounds in the past but this ultra-triggered set up kinda makes him sound like a drum machine. But hey, this is David Gray, he could be playing the fucking maracas for all I care, and it would still sound awesome.

Opener “Dnepropetrovsk” throws you right into Voices’ confusing yet beautiful sound, but for me the album really begins with “Eyes Become Black”; a slightly more stomach-able blast with equal parts brutality and fragility. My favourite track on the entire thing is the bizarre “Sexual Isolation”, which is a twisting, writhing mass of post-modern metal de blaque. Another highlight is the closing track “Endless”, which melds almost post-rock style soaring riffage with ferocious blastbeats. And then it’s over. And then I remember that London came out recently, and the world doesn’t seem so grey anymore.