Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Genre: Death metal
Full Length: I.X.X.I.
Format: Digital, cassette, CD
Label: CDN Records
Release date: August 14, 2020
As I was checking my emails, I noticed a message from John Duke of VOTOV. Now, I normally don't go through all of my review invitations as I just simply have way too many. But as I was just speaking of VOTOV to a friend recently, it seemed a bit too much like fate for me to not give this one a listen. There were multiple recording sessions available within the download provided by John, but I decided to focus on the new album ''I.X.X.I.'' I will eventually check out the earlier recordings, but first and foremost I think what is necessary is seeing where VOTOV stands currently.
VOTOV has been showing up in my suggested feed for a while now, so one thing is for certain... these guys have the promo thing down pact. And the proof of this is that I live in a small town within Atlantic Canada... and I have already heard of them!
As soon as I clicked play on the first track, I knew I was going to enjoy this band. Vocally what is pushed forth is aggressive, angry, and purely dark and elegant. The drums pound on with driving force... and the overall atmosphere provided with this album is powerful and highly structured. But my overall favorite thing about this album is the guitar work. It relies on heaviness... and the boom of the strings cannot be denied. I find too many bands rely on technicality and over-use of the fretboard... but not VOTOV. This stuff hits the right mark for me, and I would encourage anyone interested in music of the heavier variety to check these guys out. I doubt that you would be let down!
Although I enjoyed all of the tracks on this release, I'd say my favorite would need to be Blessphemy... but I think I would have chosen this track anyway on title alone! Needless to say, I don't think this will be my only listen to this album (it's pretty damn great) and I will without question return to the download link to listen to the previous offerings of VOTOV.
In closing, I suggest anyone reading this digs deep into their pockets and buys a copy of this album. VOTOV (just like many artists) deserve a fighting chance, so I doubt buying a copy of this album would be frowned upon.
Great stuff, VOTOV! –Devin Joseph Meaney
John Duke: Bass
Chuck Labossiere: Guitars, vocals
Derrick Kroll: Drums
1. Activating the Alteration
3. Head Over Hooves
4. Pacify the Enslaved
7. Heinous Waveform
8. Nerve Stamp
This review can also be read at Devin J. Meaney’s blog, https://devinmeaney.webnode.com. -DW