Voices: Frightened (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Voices was born out of the embers of Akercocke in 2014. These embers remained alight until igniting once more with Akercocke’s reformation in 2017, yet Voices remains, carving out their own identity with two studio albums and a long list of live appearances. Upon completion of their third album the band now solidify the sonic chaos and open the doors to an entirely different musical territory anyone of its highly prolific members has tackled before. It is quite hard to describe this album as musically it is all over the place, from progressive in its truest sense through post punk, apocalyptic bleakness and progressive into something is symphonic and truly adventurous. The vocals are an instrument that at times are deliberately working against the feel of the music, which shifts and moves time signatures like the fickle wind.

There are times when I can hear Bowie, at others Muse, sometimes Throbbing Gristle, but also it is like none them or all of them at the same time. This is a tiring album in that the only way to get the best from it is by giving it your undivided attention, but by doing that it is also incredibly wearing due to the sheer intensity of what is going on. That’s not to say that there aren’t quieter passages that far more balladic in approach, and there are even gently picked acoustic guitars, but it is all a ruse to lead the listener into a false sense of security. Listening to 30 seconds of the album at random, will provide no idea at all of what the rest of the album is like – take the fragility of “IWYSA”, it is nothing short of beautiful with wonderful orchestration and piano/harp combinations that are superb, but this song in many ways bears no relationship with the rest of the album at all, until it turns into something quite different at three minutes in. Definitely worth investigation.

Rating: 8/10


1. Unknown
2. Rabbits Curse
3. Evaporated
5. Dead Feelings
6. Manipulator
7. Funeral Day
8. Fascinator
9. Home Movies
10. Sequences
11. Footsteps


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