VOLA – Applause of a Distant Crowd
The highly talented prog rockers that are VOLA have already garnered quite a lot of attention and positive feedback from fans, critics, and fellow musicians alike, and I can totally understand why. These guys have a unique approach to crafting compositions that defy genre conventions and musical norms in that they blend various different styles of music and expressions to great effect. While many of the songs have plenty of groove and bombast to them, there are so many interesting contrasts and dichotomies in play within the tunes that it borders on the surreal and yet everything sounds cohesive and intimate.
There are plenty of highlights and standout tracks to be found on the record, but "Vertigo" is without doubt one of the most haunting and moving songs that I have come across lately; it is simply mind-blowing and utterly beautiful. Opening track "We Are Thin Air" also boasts an overload of guitar hooks, vocal hooks, and superb melodies. Once you have listened to that one, you will definitely want to listen to the rest of the album. As a whole, the disc is intricate and layered but never impenetrable or pretentious. Glorious stuff? You bet!
The ten compositions that constitute "Applause of a Distant Crowd" are suitably dense and all-out marvelous in every sense of the word. This is a substantial and ambitious not to mention confident and heartfelt opus that all lovers of experimental music ought to invest in ASAP.