I first came across the name Voodus when I listened to the Night Queen EP released 3 years ago. To this day I still cannot say it’s a favorite of mine, no matter how hard I tried. Then, in 2017, they released their 2nd EP, Serpent Seducer Saviour and something was clearly happening with(in) the band, cause this 2 song material was way better than the debut stuff. It caught my eye and I decided to watch the band closely.
And now, at the end of 2018, the Swedish quartet finally came out with its first full length album, released under the (un)holy patronage of Shadow Records, a label specialized in keeping the true underground spirit alive since the end of the ’90’s.
Into the Wild came out on the 26th of November and, as I already mentioned, is the band’s first full effort. And what an effort it is, indeed. 8 tracks (1 intro, 1 instrumental and 6 full tracks), with a total span on 1 hour, that is really something. I usually do not fancy very long albums as after some time I kinda lose interest and I just cannot focus properly on the songs anymore (I am getting old or maybe pretentious, I don’t know). But there are some exceptions out there and to my surprise, Voodus‘s Into the Wild is one of them.
From the very first sound of the intro The Awakening and the Ascension to the very last note of The Terrain of Moloch I was immersed in this fantastic album which really swept me off my feet. Without any shadow of a doubt, I consider this album one of the best extreme metal albums of the last decade. I said “extreme” and not simply “black metal” because with this release, Voodus definitely made it clear that while their essence is deeply rooted in the spirit displayed by bands like Watain and Dissection, they are walking on their own path, outside of a specific genre. And that is extremely rare nowadays, unfortunately. Into the Wild is an album which has an aura of Storm of the Light’s Bane mixed with Sworn to the Dark, but where it lacks in blast beats, it gains in atmosphere. Also, the guys have managed not to become mere copycats of the already mentioned bands, but instead they searched and somehow found a style, a niche of their own. And you can definitely hear that on Into the Wild, from the very first listen.
The 8 songs on this album are a tribute to the night, a soundtrack to the darkness, full of melancholy and beauty. (Do not an expect gooey songs, ballads or stuff like that. On the contrary). The common denominator during this 1 hour and 1 second are the guitar parts and their wailing riffs and solos, which haunt your feeble human mind to the point of desperation. Into the Wild is the perfect listen at night, in the dark, with only the light of a handful of candles dancing on the walls. Only that way you will experience this album in its full, when the mind is emptied of any other useless thoughts and the focus is on the music and the lyrics.
The songs have an epic touch, which really makes them super addictive and easy to listen to, despite their length. Not a single moment this album becomes boring, but after each listen you will still able to discover something new and attractive in it.
Take the 6th track for example, the intermezzo Dreams From an Ancient Mind Pt I, which basically cuts the album in 2. After a furious assault in Communion Amid the Graves, who would have thought that this kind of No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep piano would be inserted there, to teleport you somewhere far away from this ordinary world.
If by reading the above you somehow understood that there are no aggressive parts on this album, then you got it all wrong. First of all, the drummer on Into the Wild is the war machine Jocke Wallgren who stepped in at the very last moment to replace the original drummer I.Carlsson, who injured himself just before the recording of the album. Those familiar with Jocke‘s background (Valkyrja, Ofermod, Ondskapt etc) know that he is a fucking mean, lean, drumming machine, so the lovers of blast beats and double bass drums can rest in peace, the aggression is still there. The best example to back this up is the last track, the longest of the album and also the quintessence of what the record is about, The Terrain of Moloch and its 14 minutes of pure (black) magic.
Using ferocious blast beats, slow passages and inhuman double bass pedals, Jocke‘s drums basically set the pace of the album and represent the skeleton upon which the music is based on. Besides the drums, the guitars also play a primordial role on this release with their melodic touches (just listen to the amazing solos on The Golden at 5:21 or on Gnothi Seauton at 4:35) and their icy cold riffs spread all over the whole album.
The clear production done by Tore Stjerna in his by now (in)famous Necromorbus Studio also adds a chilling touch to this concoction that is Into the Wild: a sort of reminiscence of the glory of the mid ’90s, but with a proper identity and an original approach to black metal.
If you really want something different than the average blast beat frenzy from start to finish and also fancy other experiences which can open your eyes and mind while enjoying melancholic tracks, then Voodus has the perfect thing for you: Into the Wild is now available in several formats (digital, cd, LP and tape), so better act fast now or be sorry later.
This album will be written with bold letters in the black book of metal and I am pretty sure that Voodus is a name which will have more things to say in the years to come.
“Join the hunt and go Into the Wild!”
Voodus – Into the Wild track list:
1. The Awakening and the Ascension
2. The Golden
3. Gnothi Seauton
4. Into the Wild
5. Communion Amid the Graves
6. Dreams from an Ancient Mind Pt I
7. Dreams from an Ancient Mind Pt II
8. The Terrain of Moloch
T. Fongelius Guitars, Vocals
E. Kjönsberg Guitars
F. Sundgren Bass
I. Carlsson Drums