Vokonis – Odyssey
(The Sign Records – 2021)
I'm glad this act haven't been labelled under a single category, as I'm struggling to call them just one thing myself, apart from well... quite impressive.
Vokonis thrive on diversity and despite one or two of the genres the Swedish trio throw not quite tickling my musical palate, this fourth album of theirs is burnt - mostly in the better meaning of the term. Using a sludgy stoner rock foundation, they take the spaces and slide in inspirations everywhere, ranging between Machine Head, Iron Monkey, Pantera, Alice in Chains and Bring Me The Horizon, to name just six. Stout thrashy rhythm guitar and a sliding grunge drive support some strong vocal hooks, with the strained anger of 'Odyssey' 'Azure' and 'Hollow Waters' mostly of note.
The screamcore interludes are thankfully applied sparingly enough not to drive me off, though they work fantastically interspersed with the other more melodic vocals turns on 'Blackened Wings'. Some sassy speed soloing, plus guest keyboard work by Opeth/Spiritual Beggars man, Per Wiberg adds to an impressive sample of Vokonis' recipe and I'm actually left wishing this whole thing spanned longer than just six tracks, by the closing stage.
Some sticky bits to find but a pretty lively effort, with well applied substances whirling inside. Try.
By Dave Attrill