Vodun – Ascend

Ascend is the latest album to be released from metal band Vodun, with this being their sophomore effort after their debut Possession was released back in 2016. There has been quite a bit of hype about this release and for good reason, as it has truly surpassed our every expectation.

By Jane Howkins

They’re a very unique band, to say the least. We know that everybody says that about even the most bland of bands, but we really mean that here. Vodun are a metal band, but they’re one that mixes African elements and beats together with a symphonic sound (at least on the vocals, there aren’t many classical features to the music itself). Their music really is like nothing you’ve ever heard before, and whilst it might sound like an odd mix, it does work for the most part.

At times it sounds discordant, but we get the feeling that that is a planned effect, and the mixture of near operatic vocals, African drum beats, and downtuned riffs really does work. Their lyrics are also very enticing, with songs about shamanism, racism, and feminism all being the flavour of the day here. The power that is shown through the use of the vocals, drums, and groovy guitar riffs is also wonderful, and we can imagine Vodun being a fantastic live act, with a sense of attitude present that a lot of metal bands simply don’t have anymore.

Our only major gripe is that we thought the production was a little muddy at times and the lead vocals sometimes seemed a little overcome by the music, but apart from that this is a fantastic sophomore record. Ascend won’t be for everyone of course, and some will be turned off by the very description of the band (let alone their music), but if you like checking out new music then we really do recommend checking these guys out.