I love krautrock, I love black metal, I can really appreciate good psychedelica as well as a healthy dose of occult and experimental rock. So how come I've never took the time to pick up on Aluk Todolo? Who knows, all I know is that I'm ready now to be immersed in 'Voix'. Because that's what it is. You don't listen to Aluk Todolo, you are immersed in it. You take time to take everything in. Perhaps that is why I've never come around to it. Being a family man, with other family members not that deep into obscure music as I am, moments are sparse to fully take the time to create the proper atmosphere to enjoy the music as it supposed to be enjoyed. This needs a dark room and minimal distractions.
So yeah, while I'm typing this it is pretty dark in here, with some proper headphones and a good cup of coffee. Alcoholic beverages probably work better, but I'm not much of a drinker..
So anyway, 'Voix', pretty much continues where 'Occult Rock' left off. Although strictly speaking they were never a black metal band, the members are part of the french black metal underground and that inevitably rubs off on other music that you perform. Earlier works had much more links to orthodox black metal, but 'Voix' takes only the minimal basic framework, the philosophy and the occult influences of that genre. Music-wise their instrumental (no 'voix' here)incantations are much closer to krautrock and psychedelica but that's not to say black metallers won't enjoy this (in fact, a lot of them do). This 45 minute ritual is divided into 6 tracks, all of them seamlessly flowing into each other (minimal distractions, remember?..) to create a stunning piece of work. A monotonous, trance-like, psychedelic beast. The tracks are aptly named for the amount of time they make up. The first track, '8:18' lasts, well, 8 minutes and 18 seconds etcetera. No fancy titles, but it works. This minimal approach is just another part of the whole experience.
I find it very hard to describe this album because Aluk Todolo are so much about creating an atmospheric experience that it's very hard to put into words just how good this is. I've read some reviews where there are attempts to compare them to similar acts. I'm prone to do that in my reviews as well, just to provide the reader a basic starting point to see whether he or she should check it out. However, I struggle to do that now. I mean, I'm in my fifth paragraph already and I haven't even properly described what the music sounds like. Aluk Todolo is just that unique. But you know what, I'm going to go against my normal method of review and I will just conclude it with one final sentence:
You need this album.