VOW - Icarian

04 Sep 2021 - Thorsten

Ambient-Post-Metal / Sludge / Noise | Surviving Sounds | Release date: 03 Sep 2021

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Manchester madness again! But don’t mix it up with Madchester! VOW from the Midlands’ centre for sports and entertainment (please, do not hit me, Liverpudlians!) shows with two tracks how to serve any appetite basically imaginable!

When a ‘newcomer’ band starts the first track (also the title track) on their second EP like this quartet from the UK you should keep your ears open, because they display confidence rarely found in a band without a bigger discography on display. After their first EP Gentle Decline (released late 2018 on Sludgelord Records) the band was decimated to a quartet and is now hustlin’ and bustlin’ again. Meticulously they pull you in with some very clever, Mathy guitar-pickings but when the rim hits come up you feel that this is more than a Math-Rock band, because it is intriguing and they for sure learned their Gojira and Tool; nevertheless this beast of a song turns many more heads, nodding into the Blackened-Post-Metal corner of bands like Sons Of A Wanted Man – which becomes even more obvious when the raging blastbeats and the thunderous arpeggios kick in roughly at the 3:30 minute mark. And just a little bit later the track is able to slow down in a manner that would do justice on many modern Doom records just before showing a very gentle but still somewhat deceiving guitar-line again accompanied by some very nice chords in a vibraphone so that this part again reminds the attentive listener a bit of ”Rhyacian”, The Ocean’s best track on Precambrian. This multi-headed monster will probably go down as a colorful example of modern British Post-Metal, not afraid of showing influences but never simply copying.

The second track is also a highlight for this thriving UK scene, as it is a remix of the opening eponymous hydra of a song by none other than All Partial, which is Nick Watmough’s pseudonym here. Nick himself is the vocalist, drummer and pianist of another sensational Mancunian band: Pijn, who have been nothing short of amazing on their record Loss, which some people still consider the best UK-version of GY!BE. He strips the 13-minute-behemoth down to four minutes and turns it into a haunting ghost story that one should not listen to when walking alone through the scary streets of a city like Edinburgh for example.

VOW is this band that you should check out “now!” so that in a few years you can be the cool guy telling everyone that you know them from their beginnings and way before everyone else. And that you told everyone to listen to the new madness from Manchester!