VôDûN

As­cend

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews | Albums. Lives. Merch. - DOM LAW­SON

NEW HEAVY SOUNDS

Voodoo rock with a kalei­do­scopic vi­sion

it would Be

easy to take ex­cep­tion to Vôdûn. On pa­per, they are a hip­ster’s dream: un­con­ven­tional, multi-racial and not quite heavy enough to up­set Royal Blood fans. In re­al­ity, their sec­ond al­bum is so pre­pos­ter­ously ex­cit­ing and un­remit­tingly in­ven­tive that even the crush­ing like­li­hood that the band will one day end up on Later… With Jools Hol­land seems a bit­ter pill worth swal­low­ing. Ul­ti­mately, As­cend hits the tar­get be­cause it so ob­vi­ously comes from a place of sin­cer­ity, even while ac­cru­ing cool points along the way. Vo­cal­ist Chan­tal Brown is an ir­re­sistible force of na­ture, of course, her in­censed, soul­ful de­liv­ery cov­er­ing an in­sane spread of emo­tional colour while The Marassa’s pri­mal but re­fined riffs and drum­mer Ogoun’s oc­topoid clat­ter pro­pel the whole thing breath­lessly along.

But it’s the songs them­selves that will linger long in the mem­ory after the briefest of lis­tens. Where Vôdûn’s Pos­ses­sion de­but felt a lit­tle rushed and naïve, As­cend sim­ply soars. Some­thing like Started From could have been an un­re­mark­able hard rock song in less ca­pa­ble hands, but thanks to an in­spired ar­range­ment, sev­eral bursts of eu­phoric gospel choir and a dose of point­edly po­lit­i­cal spo­ken word, it feels more like a con­densed hip­pie mu­si­cal than a four-minute an­them. Sim­i­larly, the al­most com­i­cally en­er­getic Prov­i­dence Of An­ces­tors is both an ex­er­cise in pure doom me­tal aban­don and a wild fuzz-punk rit­ual, re­plete with mad per­cus­sion and a dash of syn­co­pated funk. Ogoun’s Flight is a Sab­bath-meets-Fela Kuti cut’n’shut that should have Goat and Here Lies Man fans drool­ing, while the ti­tle track gets its Led Zep voodoo vibe on with dizzy­ing panache. Barely a track goes by with­out some per­verse, un­ex­pected em­bel­lish­ment, but

Vôdûn’s mas­tery of the groove is ab­so­lute and their ec­cen­tric­ity never gets in the way of a mas­sive riff. Let’s claim them for our own be­fore some­one else nicks them.

FOR FANS OF: BLACK SAB­BATH, GOAT, THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX

Vôdûn: pure magic

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